Pakistan Threatens Nuclear War To Stop India’s Cold Start

Pakistan Election DatePhoto by Uzairmaqbool (Pixabay)

Pakistan and India are on the brink of nuclear war following India’s plans to deploy 460 high-tech battle tanks along its border with Pakistan. The deployment of the tanks is said to mark the start of implementation of India’s long-hyped Cold Start military strategy.

Pakistan is threatening to use “all of its weapons,” including nuclear weapons, to defend itself against India, according to an anonymous Pakistani official cited by the Financial Times.

“If ever our national security is threatened by advancing foreign forces, Pakistan will use all of its weapons — and I mean all of our weapons — to defend our country.”

Deploying 460 advanced battle tanks along its border with Pakistan would allow India to launch an attack against Pakistan almost immediately.

The Cold Start strategy has been discussed for years, but India has denied its existence at different times. While many of the strategy’s details remain top secret, the main objective is to make India capable of carrying out lightning blitzkrieg-style military operations against Pakistan at any given time.

Will the Cold Start strategy trigger a nuclear war?

With Islamabad being prepared to take up its own nuclear weapons as revenge on India for the potential consequences of its Cold Start military strategy, tensions between them have reached a new high.

The strategy will enable New Delhi to perform a military operation with conventional weapons on Pakistan soil at any given time. In other words, India will be able to immediately retaliate for a terror attack or the killing of its soldiers along its border with Pakistan.

With its current military strategy, India cannot launch such an attack in less than a few weeks. This prevents it from carrying out attacks against Pakistan, as Islamabad would have time to prepare a nuclear counterattack if it finds out about New Delhi’s plans for an attack against it. With the Cold Start strategy, however, India would be prepared to attack Pakistan almost immediately. Thus, New Delhi would be able to meet its military objective within a week, which is not enough time for Islamabad to launch nuclear retaliatory strikes.

How serious are Pakistan’s nuclear threats?

It’s not the first time Pakistan has threatened to use nuclear weapons against India. However, whenever Islamabad reiterates its first-use nuclear doctrine, it almost always results in an escalation of tensions with India

In September, Pakistan threatened to use nukes against India after 19 Indian soldiers were killed by militants in the disputed Kashmir region. Since then, tensions between the two countries have been running high, with frequent military provocations taking place in Kashmir.

However, this time, Pakistan’s nuclear threats serve as a dangerous wake-up call. The Pakistani official’s comments quoted by the Financial Times came in the context of India’s Cold Start military strategy. Earlier this month, India’s new chief of army staff finally publicly acknowledged the existence of the strategy.

The Cold Start military doctrine has been discussed for years, with the Indian government largely denying its existence. Political experts believe the strategy hasn’t been fully implemented because it would be financially challenging for the country.

To fully implement the Cold Start military strategy, India requires high-tech advanced military hardware, including tanks and attack helicopters. It also requires the Indian army to have advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities that it just doesn’t have.

Pakistan vows to “destroy” India with nuclear weapons

Even though India already has an impressive tank force deployed along its border with Pakistan, almost all of them are equipped with obsolete, decades-old technology. That’s why India has been so eager to purchase hundreds of advanced tanks from Russia.

Despite the fact that Russia’s relations with Pakistan have improved lately, Moscow, which is India’s key weapons supplier, continues to provide India high-tech military hardware and weaponry. Moscow and New Delhi still enjoy close military ties, with India constantly striving to purchase the newest advanced military creations.

The recently reported deal between Russia and India for hundreds of advanced tanks suggests New Delhi is finally starting to implement its long-hyped Cold Start military strategy.

Relations between India and Pakistan reached their lowest in decades in 2016 following the killing of 19 Indian soldiers in Kashmir. After the terror attack in Uri, India claimed it had carried out “surgical strikes” against Pakistan, which prompted Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaj Asif to pledge that Islamabad would “destroy India if it dares to impose war on us.”

“Pakistan’s army is fully prepared to answer any misadventure of India. We have not made atomic devices to display in a showcase,” he said. “If such a situation arises we will use it [nuclear weapons] and eliminate India.”

Unintended potential consequence of Cold Start: nuclear war

Political experts in both India and Pakistan are worried the Cold Start strategy could have the unintended consequence of triggering a nuclear war.

In fact, the new Indian military strategy does make a nuclear war more likely. Many experts are worried that in a conflict as tense and heated as that between India and Pakistan, there is no real definition of a conventional conflict. Nuclear weapons are still weapons, and both Islamabad and New Delhi are willing to do anything – even risk massive retaliation involving nukes – to destroy their traditional enemy.

Critics of the Cold Start strategy say it is based on a very questionable assumption that rapid attacks against Pakistan would deter the latter from carrying out nuclear attacks in retaliation. The objective of India’s new military doctrine is to be able to launch a rapid military action against Pakistan without risking a nuclear war. Many question the rationality of this strategy.

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About the Author

Polina Tikhonova
Polina Tikhonova is a writer, journalist and a certified translator. Over the past 7 years, she has worked for a wide variety of top European, American, Russian, and Ukrainian media outlets. Polina holds a Master's Degree in English Philology from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Saint Petersburg State University. Her articles and news reports have been published by many newspapers, magazines, journals, blogs and online media sources across the globe. Polina is fluent in English, German, Ukrainian and Russian.

8 Comments on "Pakistan Threatens Nuclear War To Stop India’s Cold Start"

  1. Yes, the genocide of more than 3 million Bengalis during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation Movement at hands of NaPak Army is a sign of being peace loving.

    The massive genocide of Baloch Nationals since last 6 decades is a sign of being a peace loving country.

    The inhuman torture of innocent locals in ‘NaPak(Illegally) occupied Kashmir is a sign of being a peace loving country!

  2. Pakistan is mother, father of all terrorism in the world today. It has to be split into smaller states and denuclearized with force for peace and security of the world.
    Pakistan is not a stable democracy, it has created Taliban and destroyed any peace in Afghanistan.

    Pakistan should be put under UN rule for security of the world.

  3. The hegemonic design of India has to be undone in order to halt the
    intangible arm race as well as security culture in the region. It is
    necessary for India to more focus on domestic challenges including
    population influx, extreme poverty, separatist movements and economy.
    This will automatically lead to the stability in the region.

  4. India has always tried to ‘maintain its hegemony’ in the South Asian region But Pakistan rejected this hegemony and has effectively protected its interests and its stance over Kashmir, nuclear deterrence and conventional balance

  5. South Asia’s prevailing nuclear dynamics mean that maintaining adequate
    conventional forces remains as relevant to South Asia as it was to the
    Europe during the Cold War. India’s belligerent activities, conventional superiority and its revisionist policies regarding Cold Start doctrine, are the factors which have in fact fueled the very strategic environment and made Pakistan to seek for alternatives in order to defend itself against the odds emanating from across the border.

  6. That’s good to know, sir. Unfortunately, Pakistan’s history does not inspire confidence. It has initiated all the conflicts in the region and continues to exhibit signs of extreme paranoia. The constant nuclear bluster also does not help. Also, nobody’s threatening Pakistan’s sovereignty. In fact it is Pakistan which is the revanchist in the region.
    Peace in the region is some distance away, it would seem…

  7. Pakistan is a peace loving country. we love peace but not at the cost of sovereignty.

  8. The key question is whether Pakistan would really use its tactical nukes in case of a massive Indian offensive. Would shallow incursions across a broad front provoke the use of Nasr by Pakistan on its own soil? India has maintained that, while it has adopted a no first use policy, any nuclear attack on its soil or forces would invite massive retaliation.
    One of the two is bluffing. I would think it is Pakistan as it has much more to lose. Pakistan’s too frequent use of the nuclear threat (especially by Raheel Sharif and its Defence Minister) has led to a cry wolf scenario and such threats have lost their deterrence value.
    Most probable scenario imho – next major terrorist attack and India goes all in. India makes initial gains, Pakistan rattles nuclear sabre. World steps in. Pakistan’s public questions its leaders yet again on its promises that they were ‘superior’

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