Thursday December 08, 2022

Maintain credible deterrence against hostile India: CISS

By Our Correspondent
February 29, 2020

Islamabad : Pakistan needs to maintain credible deterrence against hostile India by sustaining and modernising its defense capabilities, recommends a special report titled launched by the Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS) here Friday.

The report, which is titled ‘Pulwama-Balakot Crisis and Operation Swift Retort,’ was launched to coincide with the first anniversary of ‘Operation Swift Retort’ against aerial incursion by India in February 2019. Edited by CISS Senior Research Fellow Saima Aman Sial, it notes that Operation Swift Retort was effective, but Pakistan needs to seriously take into account, Indian arms acquisitions as well as destabilising doctrinal trends as manifested in new thinking on preemption and counterforce posture. Underscoring the importance of such a course, the report observes that Indian hostile rhetoric is continuing and there has been no letup in ceasefire violations on the Line of Control.

“Pakistan’s measured response during the 2019 crisis reasserted the efficacy of its conventional deterrence, but the growing qualitative and quantitative asymmetry in South Asia is likely to keep deterrence stability under constant stress for the foreseeable future. Pakistan, therefore needs to be vigilant and cognizant of the evolving nature of the threat spectrum and continue to maintain the credibility of its full spectrum response,” the report maintains.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ali Sarwar Naqvi said, the publication revisits the crisis and explains its various aspects including the dynamics of escalation/de-escalation, aspects of nuclear signaling, the appraisal of conventional preparedness, role of crisis managers, lessons for crisis management and part played by Indian media in spreading sensationalism.

Senior Fellow CISS Dr. Naeem Salik stated that nuclear signaling is an effective way of communicating deterrence through public statements, but irresponsible proclamations could convey wrong signals to adversaries about the actions, thereby inducing strategic instability. He recalled that during Balakot crisis, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made various destabilising statements including assertions like ‘Qatal Ki Raat,’ ‘mother of all bombs,’ and that ‘India will call Pakistan’s nuclear bluff.’He said that despite irresponsible rhetoric from Indian leaders, Pakistan responded responsibly, calling for restraint and de-escalation.