After Pulwama terror attack by JeM and a short air power engagement between India and Pakistan, diplomatic intervention by Saudi Arabia & UAE backed by USA de-escalated tension between two countries with Pakistan returning Indian PoW Wing Commander Abhinandan. However reports of India centric Pak military re-deployment close to IB and LOC in J&K, reported naval showdown between two navies in Arabian sea and news of both armies engaging in intense cross LOC firing using artillery, are worrying defence analysists kicking apprehensions of a possible Snap War between two nuke armed countries?
What is worrying defence analysist now is, against expectation of conflict situation between both countries easing out, military buildup by both countries close to IB and LOC is continuing. There are reports of movement of large bodies of heavily armed military forces positioning for any eventuality of military battles. Air forces of both countries are on state of a very high alert and navies of both countries are moving into their battle positions.
The situation has worsened with military showdown between both countries taking a domestic political flavour with BJP kicking a vote bank politics portraying it as a big military victory against Pakistan claiming huge casualties to terror and statements like ‘Ghus Ke Mara’ by PM Narendra Modi and opposition making political counter moves. It has ignited Indian media creating a war rhetoric which is seen to be pro BJP.
Defence Analysts are alarmed on prevailing tense situation and are fearful of any miscalculation by Pakistan or India leading to a Snap War in form of a short localised limited and intense military engagements with a high probability of it being fought in disputed sectors like Jammu-Sialkot of J&K.
Though Pakistan is apprehensive of Sh Narinder Modi and his party building war hysteria for winning next elections but key question is, why is Pakistan building military forces close to IB & LOC in spite of India having given clear message of avoiding any further military engagement ? Is it a precautionary measure against Indian cold start doctrine or Pakistan has intentions to further escalate military conflict and opt for a snap war in form a localised limited short but intense military engagement in disputed sectors like Sialkot-Jammu?
Pakistan’s mis-calculations may be based on assumption that being a nuclear power her army can now push for a quick offensive in this sector where it stands a better chance and like 65 India Pak War, this time India may not be able to spread the war along rest of IB and launch counter offensives like it happened during Kargil war too? Pakistan has an excuse to trigger conflict blaming Indian army practicing cold start doctrine starting war? Pakistan may assume that such military conflict will bring issue of J&K in political centre stage of global diplomacy pushing issue of proxy war using terror in backstage.
Having taken a tough stand against Pakistan, when political situation for BJP is not favourable, Narinder Modi has very limited space for pulling back from present military engagement till elections are over. Speculations are very high even in BJP circles, that with pressure building on them for winning next elections and they having claimed military victory over Pakistan may push Narinder Modi to opt for Snap War in case he is pushed or trapped into it? Miscalculation may be based on assumption that even a stalemate in such snap war can be claimed as victory which in turn will give further rise to emotional excitement specially among young voters and help them win elections. Media building war hysteria is also giving air to such speculations. BJP’s design to use military actions to win elections are known facts.
When Pakistan’s economy is in bad shape and Indian economy is recovering from shock of massive corporate corruption any further escalation is bad for stability and peace in region. Only time will tell how events unfold?