India vs Pakistan: is it a case of David and Goliath
India during the days of the Raj was one monolith unit. In fact, for the first time in history, the Indian subcontinent was one nation. It was a country that stretched from the North West frontier to give Cape Comorin and from Baluchistan the Far East Himalayas beyond Assam.
The two major religions Hinduism and Islam could not reconcile together. The Muslims who had been rulers for 900 years were chary to be ruled by Hindus and feared that in a Hindu dominated India they would have no place. The Hindus were also fearful of the vast Muslim population which they felt would not allow them to rule unfettered. They supported bifurcation of India. It is on record that Gandhi and Nehru were instrumental in the division of India.
The state of Pakistan was this carved out of India. In terms of area, the state of Pakistan was pretty large but the Indian leadership under Indira Gandhi were able to break the country, leading to the creation of Bangladesh. This was a great achievement and Indira Gandhi deserves credit for it. Pakistan was reduced to a small size almost one-fifth of India and it was assumed that India would be the dominant power in Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, the script went wrong somewhere as the Pakistan that emerged after the breaking away of Bangladesh was more like David. We are aware of the famous tale in the Bible where a small boy named David destroyed the big giant Goliath by his sling. Somehow I can't feel helping that this analogy applies to India and Pakistan, where Pakistan is almost like David facing a Goliath like India and the net result is India is powerless against this enfant terrible.
Pakistani under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto decided to follow a different strategy. They went for nuclear weapons and strengthened their Army which is now almost half the size of India and the seventh largest army in the world. The army has been armed by the Americans with hard dollars. America has never been able to justify why it has given billions of dollars of weapon free of cost to Pakistan. The result is that Pakistan has a formidable Army.The racial stock of the Army is similar to that of India as both are descendants of the British Indian Army of colonial days. Pakistan army may have lost Bangladesh but that was due to their faulty strategy and now they are looking For Revenge.
General Zia ul Haq, the ex-President of Pakistan in the 80s formulated a theory to fight India. He was of the view that Pakistan need not fight an open war but an indirect war and bleed India with a 100 cuts. This has been the genesis of the Kashmiri insurrection where not a day passes without at least 2 or 3 Indian soldiers being killed. Many people have asked me why does India tolerate this nonsense from Pakistan when it is 5 times bigger than Pakistan. The fact is the Indian military is not in a position to give a decisive blow to the Pakistan army.ln, a future fight there could be a probability of the Pakistan army carrying the day in Kashmir.In case that happens, it will be a body blow to the concept of India and only persons to be blamed are the Indian political leadership.
Pakistan has followed a one point programme of opposing India at every stage.They have striven for military parity with India and have more than achieved it. They have also built very strong defences around Lahore which is just 20 km from the Wagah Border. The Indian Army in an attempt to capture Lahore in 1965, lost one full brigade in trying to cross the Ichigol canal. Though in a military conflict numbers will prevail and India may hold the upper hand but it cannot be a walkover. In such a situation the fact that Pakistan has achieved military parity with India is a matter of concern.The responsibility for losing the military edge rests with the political leadership which devoid of any idea of strategic powerplay has allowed the army to go to seed.
Thus when people ask me why India cannot thrash Pakistan, the answer is simple and that is that Pakistan is militarily very strong and has near parity with India along with a strong nuclear arsenal which is bigger than India's.
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