Evolving Geo-Strategic Realities Of South Asia In Indo-Pak Conflict – OpEd – Eurasia Review | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack

The South Asian region has become vital due to its complex security milieu specially due to tense relations between two nuclear armed adversaries in the form of India and Pakistan and also the long border stand off between China and India. Indian Army is one of the largest Army in the world and has been continuously investing massively in defense procurements and modernization. The conventional asymmetry of Indian forces had always posed a threat to Pakistan especially when seen from the lens of ultra nationalist Hindutva driven Indian anti Pakistan policies. Though the defense forces of Pakistan have acquired Full Spectrum Deterrence to keep Indian nefarious hegemonic designs under check however Indian frantic defence acquisitions and deep strategic partnerships with US, EU and other key global and regional powers is a point of serious concern when seen from threat calculus of Pakistan.

The economic turmoil as well as a troubled political environment that has engulfed Pakistan is affecting the national fabric of Pakistan. The political parties are engaged in an unending tug of war which is distracting the focus from ever evolving geo-strategic realities especially with regards to force modernization and defence alliances India has been pursing lately. Pakistan needs national focus and consensus of unifying its vision of securing its territorial and ideological boundaries by keeping up to the pace of acquiring bare essential defence equipment  and acquisitions imperative to keep up with the threat in technological domains as well. For all this to happen political stability, economic progress is a prerequisite. While Pakistan is wading through rough waters at the moment, India, on the other hand is investing heavily on defense procurements of all sorts and in all dimensions including acquiring state of the art technologies related to Non Contact Warfare (NCW), electro-magnetic spectrum, AI and cyber warfare.

India under the 2+2 ministerial dialogues have engaged with US to establish defense pacts in the shape of BECA, MISTA, COMCASA, and LEMOA. With the help of these pacts India would be able to have a strong hold over the strategic lines by using state of the art military technology and equipment. It would also have its force presence at key positions in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to flex its muscle as a potent regional power now eyeing to take Center stage at international level. Indian force modernization has always been portrayed by Indian circles as China specific but, it is no secret that its force posturing and deployments are primarily Pakistan based as these have been used against Pakistan in the past whenever these were needed. India is also part of the strategic alliances such as QUAD and AUKUS. They are also on a ten-year road map for defense advancement with Israel.

Analyzing the defense modernization of its arch adversary, Pakistan is in a dire need to revamp its defense expenditures. Robust economic policies must be formulated to find some fiscal space for procurement of necessary defense equipment and technology despite the economic challenges as the widening conventional asymmetry between Pakistan and India can be detrimental to Pakistan’s internal and external security. 

*“Military power serves the cause of security by making prohibitive the cost of any aggressive attack. It serves the cause of peace by holding up a shield behind which the patient constructive work of peace can go on”* – Dwight D. Eisenhower

When it comes to the threat against the sovereignty and survival of Pakistan, the people of Pakistan have always showed their strength to sacrifice anything and everything. The survival of Pakistan after the atomic age was to build an atomic bomb and with time as the means of warfare have evolved it again needs to follow suite. Pakistan though continues to maintain its conventional deterrence however growing asymmetry in the fields of state of the art defence equipment and weapons doesn’t bode well when threat calculus from India is realistically analysed. Despite economic hardships, for Pakistan to continue maintaining its conventional deterrence, procurement of essential defence weapons & equipment and force modernization aspects will have to be met not as a matter of choice but strategic compulsion.

Humais Sheikh is an independent Defence Analyst based in Islamabad. He has completed his Masters in Defence and Strategic Studies from Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad.

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