The 6th of September is celebrated every year as the Defense Day by every Pakistani. The day holds a significant place in the history of our nation, as on this very day, Pakistan’s courageous armed forces and the entire nation stood united in 1965 for the defence of the homeland in thwarting the nefarious designs of the enemy which had threatened the territorial integrity of our beloved country through an all-out war.
Pakistan Army not only forced Indian troops to retreat from Lahore sector, but also crossed the Line of Control, occupying various parts of Indian-held Kashmir-the root cause of the war.
This time, the Defense Day has come at a time when Pakistan’s security forces have equally been responding to India’s aggression at the Line of Control (LoC) besides facing a different war of the enemy which employs subversive activities of various kinds.
Recently, tension between India and Pakistan has accelerated, as the former set off a series of unprovoked cross-border firings at the LoC in Kashmir including Working Boundary in Sialkot and Nakiyal sector. Indian armed forces have intermittently been continuing their aggression by violating the LoC. So far, they have killed some personnel of Pak Army, and the paramilitary troops including one captain and several innocent civilians. But every, time, Indian guns became silent when Pak Army and Rangers responded with equal response for the defense of the country.
While, in order to justify its open aggression, India concocted a fabricated story of accusing Pakistan Army of killing its five soldiers on August 6, this year, In this regard, Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Defence Minister AK Anthony have blamed Pak Army for the incident on LoC. In this regard, Pakistan Foreign Office and Pak Army sources have strongly denied terming it “baseless and unfounded.”
Earlier, Indian high civilian officials and Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh had already threatened to retaliate against Pakistan for the alleged killing of its soldiers in fighting near the disputed border of Kashmir, saying, he had asked his commanders there to be aggressive in the face of provocation.
Some members of Indian Parliament used tough language against Islamabad. One of them stated that New Delhi should teach a lesson to Pakistan. Another member said that India should even prepare itself for war with Pakistan.
BJP leader Rajnath Singh said that India’s patience was at an end and demanded that all dialogue between India and Pakistan including Confidence Building Measures (CMBs) be stopped. Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid stated on August 16, “Talks with Pakistan become difficult or impossible or are suspended, the situation as of now is not conducive for talks with Islamabad.”
However, the ongoing pretext of India is to create obstacle in the way of the new peace process with Pakistan so that Pak-Indian issues like Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar Barrage, water and especially main dispute of Kashmir remain unresolved.
But matter is not confined to suspension of peace process. Now, with rise in tension on LoC, Indian rulers, opposition parties, media, particularly news channels have resorted to fanning anti-Pakistan sentiments, war hysteria and jingoism.
It is notable that under the pretext of Pak-China durable and strategic relationship, Indian ex-Army Chief, General Deepak Kapoor, revealed on December 29, 2010 that the Indian army “is now revising its five-year old doctrine” and is preparing for a “possible two-front war with China and Pakistan.”
Defence experts opine that taking the concept of a two front war, India has launched an ambitious military buildup plan, along the disputed Line of Actual Control (LAC) situated between Indian-Chinese border and LoC in Kashmir near Pakistan.
In the mid of October 2011, as part of its second phase of military expansion along the China front, Indian government has given the go-ahead for the deployment of BrahMos cruise missiles in Arunachal Pradesh located near the Chinese border. With a range of 290 km., these missiles are being deployed to improve India’s military reach into the Tibet Autonomous Region. The three BrahMos missile regiments raised so far have also been deployed in the western sector of Pakistan.
Besides, external threats, Pakistan, its Army, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and other law-enforcing agencies have been facing a different war, while enemy is also different, which conducts various kinds of subversive acts such as suicide attacks, targeted killings, assaults on the Army and on security agencies, kidnappings and sectarian violence etc. In this regard, militant outfits, especially Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) including other banned organizations have claimed responsibility for a number of terror-attacks. Karachi, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and Balochistan have become special targets of their acts of sabotage.
Unlike the past wars, the arena of war has changed. In the ongoing era, non-state actors have made it difficult for the military to serve alone as the automatic dominant sphere in every war, covering all the land, sea and space domains. Now, lethal weapons and subversive tactics used by the terrorists can be more harmful in damaging the interest of a rival country. As part of the new warfare, India has set up secret training centers in Afghanistan where its military personnel in connivance with Israeli RAW and CIA have been imparting training of guerilla warfare to the youngsters, having connections with South Waziristan-based TTP and BLA. Based in Afghanistan, these anti-Pakistan agencies send heavily-armed militants who commit various sorts of terror-activities in order to destabilize Pakistan, as it is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World. Besides foreign agents are also working inside Pakistan.
Despite the fact that on the pre-information of the ISI, Pakistan’s law-enforcing agencies have thwarted many terror attempts through pre-arrests, discovery of weapons and huge explosive material, suicide jackets etc., but terrorists keeps on targeting the installations of security forces, intelligence agencies and police including government buildings.
Notably, our security forces have been facing boldly an invisible enemy—the militants who mostly fight anonymously. Even the US-led powerful states have failed for the last 12 years in fighting these insurgents in Afghanistan. Instead, within four months, Pakistan’s armed forces and intelligence agencies had successfully ejected the Taliban from Swat, Dir and Buner. While our security forces are still boldly coping with the sudden attacks of the militants in some tribal areas.
In his book, “Fighting Power: German and US Army Performance, 1939-1945”, Creveld identifies the elements of moral force, whom he calls “fighting power, the willingness to fight and the readiness, if necessary, to die.” The greater these elements, the less vulnerable an armed force will be to demoralization. So, moral force is critical in determining the combat power of any belligerent.
No doubt that these elements like will to fight and moral force have been more found in Pakistan’s forces which had defeated India in 1965. It is owing to this passion that while waging this new style war with the non-state actors, several personnel of our security forces, especially those of Pak Army have sacrificed their lives for the integration of the country, and compelled the militants to escape or run from the war-zones.
It is mentionable that media reported on January 2, 2013 that while changing professional priorities, Pakistan Army has declared the internal threats such as anti-state terrorist groups as major challenge to the country. In this regard, Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani also said that the country was pitched against the faceless enemy, adding that the present spectrum of threats could be defeated through collective national efforts in which the armed forces had a pivotal role to play.
Today our nation is facing multiple challenges to the security of the country. So, it is not army’s war only nor of intelligence agencies alone. In fact, it is nation’s war which demands cooperation of every citizen and politician.
On this very day, imbibing the 1965 spirit of unity, the Defence Day serves as a motivating force for the civil and military personnel including the public to cope with the new dangers of this different war through collective unity. The entire nation must also show full unity with the armed forces, encouraging them in giving equal response to the Indian aggression which still continues at the LoC.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power