Pakistan has followed many strategies to achieve this end. The tribal incursion it engineered in 1947 in J&K was the first of the many wars it unleashed against India. It lost each one of them – in 1965, 1971 and Kargil, 1999. Each loss made it determined to do more and better next time. The thinking, of some senior generals like former chief of army staff Jehangir Karamat, that war alone could solve India-Pakistan problems has never been abandoned. The drive for parity with India remains despite growing evidence that geography and demography cannot support such ambitions. These wars disclosed the pattern in decision making: the decisions were taken by a coterie without involving the army brass, the navy, the air force, the foreign office or civilian leaders. The pros and cons, including international reactions, were never been fully assessed. Individual impulse by and large seemed to have been the trigger in each case, inevitably, ending in failure.
The Pakistan nuclear weapons programme is now focused on evolving tactical nuclear weapons, designed as an antidote to Indias Cold Start strategy.
This mindset resulted in Pakistan landing up in the lap of the US in the early stages of the Cold War between the Soviets and US. In 1955 Pakistan joined CENTO and SEATO, and received extensive military hardware like Patton tanks for defending itself against possible onslaughts of international communism. However, the unstated Pakistani intentions were to strengthen its military to counter India. Pakistan’s 1965 war against India was undertaken on the comfort of these supplies. When the US failed to meet Pakistan’s subsequent expectations Pakistan moved closer to China after the 1962 Indo-China war. In the following years the anti communist Pakistan became China’s closest ally and China its chief source of arms supplies. The common point of agreement was containment of India.
The 1971 war again proved that Pakistan was no match for India. The war brought a regime change in Pakistan with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto becoming the new President. Bhutto was convinced that only a nuclear arsenal could bring safety and security to Pakistan. A crash nuclear weapons development programme was launched and China readily agreed to be the source of nuclear weapon technology and other know-how. It furnished the design of an early atom bomb to Pakistan – which it developed and China offered its Lopnor facility for testing it. China has now become the mainstay of Pakistan in various nuclear energy related programmes, with China circumventing international nuclear policy agreements to assist Pakistan. China also put Pakistan in touch with North Korea from where it obtained advanced missile technology which has enabled it to develop delivery weapons, with nuclear tips, capable of hitting any Indian city. The Pakistan nuclear weapons programme is now focused on evolving tactical nuclear weapons, designed as an antidote to India’s Cold Start strategy. It is now estimated that the Pakistani nuclear arsenal is growing at the fastest pace in the world creating anxieties for all nations that cherish non-proliferation.