Thursday 14 November 2019, 01:22 AM
India-Pak clash leaves behind several lessons
By Sushil Sharma | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 5/23/2019 2:41:02 PM
India-Pak clash leaves behind several lessons

Recent military events between India and Pakistan have left behind multiple lessons. It all started with the Pulwama terror attack on February 14 and ended with the release of Wing  Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman on March 1. During this period emotions swung from one extreme to the other. If animated  discussion on TV were not helping the cause of sanity, social media narratives left the two nuclear-armed neighbours very close to full-scale war.The series of lessons: India’s right to punish terrorists has been backed by several countries.  Crossing the LoC to launch punitive strikes at terror camps could very well be a new doctrine.  

It was very short skirmish, technically lasted some 32 hours. At 3: 30 am on February 26, in response to the Pulwama attack, Indian Air Force (IAF) was tasked to hit at a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp at Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, some 80 km inside Pakistan. Next day Pak sent its fighter jets over Nowshera in Jammu & Kashmir, India responded and both countries had lost a jet each. Firing across the LoC from both sides ratcheted up. 

The nuclear bogey of Pakistan has  been called. The skirmish did not escalate to see nukes being fired, hence exposing the Pakistan bogey that it could fire a nuke in case of a clash. The hit on to US-made F-16 by a MiG 21 probably will  be studied in detail. The MiG 21 has very high acceleration rate that probably gave it the luck to down the F-16. 

Social media was the key as Twitter, Facebook and social media played a major role in creating a hysteria. News on Feb 26 was literally broken over twitter  when, Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor, the Director-General of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) of Pakistan, tweeted that the ‘IAF crossed the LoC and dropped a payload’ and said it was at Balakot. The next day, the ISPR used the  ‘Facebook Live’ option to tell the world that Pakistan had downed a MiG 21. In this, technology transcended borders and information was live on mobile phones.

What is the ‘Spice’ used on Balakot:  The IAF used a specific missile to hit a JeM camp. Called the ‘Spice-2000’, its imported from Israel. The missile weighs 1300 kgs and can carry a  warhead as big as 340 kgs.

It can penetrate through the roof and the warhead detonates subsequently, causing damage within the structure. The IAF has maintained that its missile penetrated through the roof and the warhead detonated subsequently, causing damage to people present inside. The roof may not collapse and the “blast wave” can very well go out of the doors and windows, which are weaker structures  as compared to the roof.

The air-to-surface missile with a range of 78 km and is produced by Rafael industries of Israel. A bomb damage assessment has been done using images from satellites, radar images and also secret sources. The IAF has collated data from various sources, and internal assessment indicates that definite ‘evidence’ exists. It has been shared with the government to show that arsenal hit the ‘desired’ targets.

War hysteria has peace as hope: The narrative can move towards peace or war. There is a difference in the body language and scripts. After the Balakot air strike, Pak Prime Minister Imran Khan seems to have thawed out, desperately wanting India to come to the negotiation table. He announced the release of Wing  Cdr Varthaman as goodwill gesture.

Imran will need to undo some four decades of  fundamentalist Islam  in his country. Even during the crisis Imran cautioned against any “miscalculation” in case of an escalation between the two nuclear-armed countries and offered to defuse tensions through talks.

 

Tags:

military,Pulwama,Pakistan,India,Pakhtunkhwa,Balakot,Abhinandan

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