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Friday Nov 15, 2019, Rabi-al-awwal 17, 1441 Hijri

India's ambitions to encircle Pakistan

19 November, 2012

By Asif Haroon Raja

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India is largest in size and population and militarily and economically the strongest country in South Asia. Indian Army of 1.4 million with 34 combat divisions is the third largest in the world and Indian air force and navy too are formidable. India has made its standing in the world because of its geo-strategic importance and huge economic market.

Diplomatically it is well placed in the world comity of nations and enjoys best of relations with world powers as well as with the Muslim world. Till 1990 it was strategic partner of former Soviet Union. After latter's demise India snuggled into the lap of USA and became its strategic partner but without damaging its relations with Russia. It also developed close ties with Israel which has over a period of time become India's biggest arms supplier. India then mended fences with China by pushing border dispute in Himalayan region to the back-burner and promoted trade. India got closer to Iran when Afghanistan was under the rule of Taliban and Afghan Northern Alliance (NA) leadership had taken refuge in Tehran. However, Afghanistan under anti-India and pro-Pakistan Taliban rule was a huge loss for India. In anticipation of a regime change in Kabul, it started providing full support to NA leaders during their period of exile. India is now a strategic partner of Afghanistan where Pakistan's influence has diminished considerably.

In marked contrast to its high standing across the globe where it shows a humane face and claims to be the champion of democracy and secularism, India doesn't enjoy good reputation within South Asia where its interests clash with neighboring countries. It has used Chankyan tactics to deceive, beguile or blackmail its adversaries or has used force to browbeat the smaller states and make them submit to its wishes. Among its neighbors, Pakistan is its arch rival since it refuses to accept India's supremacy and wants relationship on equal basis. India has still not reconciled with the existence of Pakistan and keeps hatching conspiracies and even going to war to undo Pakistan.

Out of 13 Corps, seven Indian Corps are deployed against Pakistan. Majority of its airbases are also poised against Pakistan and its Navy is geared toward blocking Karachi in the event of war. Besides equipping its forces with latest weaponry and technology, India is refurbishing the obsolete military equipment with US-Israel efforts. Indian defence budget is increasing annually at an alarming rate. India has since long been aspiring to turn Pakistan into a captive Indian market and to encircle Pakistan. It has partially encircled Pakistan after occupying two-thirds Kashmir, which overlooks AJK, and Siachen Glacier which dominates Gilgit-Baltistan, and substantially enhancing its naval presence in the Indian Ocean to turn Arabian Sea as its exclusive domain so as to quarantine Pakistan. After opening Pakistan specific consulates in Afghanistan and in Iranian provinces bordering Pakistan for the purposes of sabotage and subversion, and helping Iran in building Chahbahar Port and linking it with Indian constructed Highway Delaram-Zaranj in Afghanistan, its strategic encirclement plan is near completion.

Creation of Pakistan from within the womb of Indian Union on August 14, 1947 was the biggest shock inflicted upon the Brahman elites of India. Pakistan's survival and progress traumatized them further and to lessen their anguish they keep hatching conspiracies to impede and possibly block all avenues of progress and at an opportune time deliver a knockout blow. India supported Pakhtunistan stunt espoused by Afghanistan. It was essentially its quest for security against the vastly superior India harboring hegemonic ambitions, unfriendly Afghanistan and not so friendly USSR which motivated Pakistan to join western pacts and seek US military assistance.

Pakistan has on number of occasions gone out of the way to throw away the baggage of animosity with India and to make a fresh start. Ignoring the wrongs of India, Quaid-e-Azam had made an offer to forget the past and live as peaceful neighbors and to jointly work towards improving the quality of life of common people. His offer was spurned by Nehru and Indian forces forcibly occupied two-thirds Kashmir in October 1947. Kashmir thus became a bone of contention and a major cause of never-ending antagonism. FM Ayub Khan made an offer of joint defence which was also brushed aside by Nehru. ZA Bhutto agreed to Indira Gandhi's suggestion of bilateral-ism in the 1972 Simla Conference but India exploited it by preventing third party mediation/facilitation and putting Kashmir issue in a cold storage.

Gen Ziaul Haq offered umpteen proposals to make South Asia nuclear free zone but India paid no heed to any. Benazir Bhutto went to the extent of providing list of Sikh leaders engaged in Khalistan movement but she failed to appease Rajiv Gandhi. Nawaz Sharif too tried hard to find an amicable solution to the chronic dispute of Kashmir though composite dialogue and to improve Indo-Pak relations but could make no headway due to Indian leaders rigid stance that Kashmir is integral part of India. Gen Musharraf crossed all limits to appease India by suggesting a solution outside the realm of UN Resolutions but he couldn't bring any change in India's uncompromising stand. The current regime is also following the policy of appeasement but has failed to solicit positive response from India. Rather, India has all along maintained a belligerent posture and on several occasions Indian military might got deployed along the border and came close to an all-out war.

India has gone to war with Pakistan five times including two limited conflicts in Rann of Katch and Kargil. In 1971, aided by USSR, India succeeded in truncating Pakistan but when it found that Pakistan refused to become its satellite, its infamous RAW recommenced its covert war to weaken other parts of Pakistan and also accelerated its force modernization program with emphasis on mechanization of ground forces and upgrading its naval and air arms with the help of USSR.

Sindh was chosen as the next target of subversion after East Pakistan. One reason of picking up Sindh was the importance of Karachi with lone seaport and economic hub of Pakistan. Its covert operations succeeded in accentuating antagonism between old and new Sindhis and thus creating urban-rural divide in Sindh. 1973 Baloch insurgency in Balochistan was supported by USSR, Afghanistan and India. When Soviet forces occupied Afghanistan in 1979 and the US and Pakistan became strategic allies to confront the Soviet threat, India's RAW joined hands with KGB and KHAD to carryout subversive activities in Pakistan. The MRD movement in rural Sindh was also supported by India. Alignment with USA from 1991 onward enabled India to spoil Pak-US relations.

Strategic alliance with the sole super power in the aftermath of 9/11 is helping India in fulfilling its grandeur plans to become a regional and a world power and to keep the dispute of Kashmir on the back burner. Considering Pakistan to be the only stumbling block in her way to achieve her ambitions, she considered occupation of Afghanistan by USA and its allies in November 2001 and establishment of a pro-India regime in Kabul together with ongoing war on terror an ideal opportunity to encircle Pakistan and force it to give up Kashmir and accept India's hegemony, or else balkanize it or remove it from the world map. Above all, it opened the avenues for India to regain its lost influence in Afghanistan and to further expand it and become a key player.

Notwithstanding that acquisition of nuclear and missile capability by Pakistan has greatly minimized the risk of war with India; however, nuclear Pakistan has earned perpetual hostility of India, Israel and USA. News ways are now being devised to disable our nuclear program without having to wage a war. While continuing to procure latest state-of-art weapons from all quarters, India vociferously objects to any effort by Pakistan to procure its modest defence needs from any country and the west lends receptive ears to its laments. In order to offset Pakistan's nuclear strategic deterrence, India has ventured upon its Cold Start Doctrine which initially envisaged 7-8 self-containing battle groups but has now been increased it to 15 groups. Indian hackers tried to hack secrets of Army Exercise Azm-e-Nao III, a response action to Cold Start, and succeeded partially. Water war and now the economic war to supplement covert war are part of India's overall scheme to isolate Pakistan and make it irrelevant. It is desperate to get land access to Afghanistan through Pakistan.

Pakistan should offset India's nefarious encirclement plan by disagreeing to grant land route to India through Wagah border for its contemplated trade with Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics and that too without resolving core disputes. Our military responses to Cold Start will have to be rehashed at the earliest.

The writer is a retired Brig and a defence analyst.

Reader Comments:

Undoing of the Anti India Pakistani illusion..

Well what can be said of this article...a great bundle of mythical fabrications intended to keep the Pakistani citizens in a false uninterrupted delusion nay, illusion.
In the excitement of trying to pull India down , the author has comfortably forgotten that ,it is Pakistan which has a history of bias, hatred and dislike towards India . Most of the foreign policies and programs the country has implemented has been anti-Inda centric to a great extent. While trying to blame India and show it in a negative light, The author has also comfortably forgotten that it was Pakistan which has attacked India 5 times and got adequate response as well (we do understand that defeats are easily forgotten, but hope you don't forget the 1971 birth of Bangladesh).

"Gen Musharraf crossed all limits to appease India by suggesting a solution outside the realm of UN Resolutions but he couldn't bring any change in India's uncompromising stand"

Sure Gentleman, and the attack on Kargil was one of his best method to bring India in the negotiation table.

The author if he really intends to tell the facts should also highlight the continued influx of terror propagated and directly supported by Pakistan and its defense and intelligence agencies, and which are no more a secreat to the world community. The Author should provide his reasons for the continued terrorist activities which Pakistan has involved and supported generously be it 26/11/2008 in Mumbai (remember the 166 killed and the Pakistani national Kasab caught by India)., the Mumbai bomb blast, the Delhi bomb blast and several other terror activities directly implemented by terrorist organizations based and supported by Pakistan in the name of Jihad since the 80's.

If this is how Pakistan wants to promote peace ,then Best of Luck in your best efforts. Keep on blaming and cursing India and remain in the deepest illusion till your country is eaten by the devil called terrorism that you so meticulously conceived to bleed India.

Punit, - 19 November, 2012

Shear imagination

I must say the author has got loads of imagination and really scared. If India is so interested in encircling Pakistan, why does it allow "Bangladesh" to exist. During the year 1971, when pakistan lost its eastern wing, Bangladesh was on its knees economically, strategically and politically. India could have easily absorbed Bangladesh with its military might and made it as another state of India. But its been 40 years after the formation of Bangladesh and it still exists. Its stronger than ever and much better than pakistan in every way. Why??

I am an Indian and i badly require a response for this either from the author or any other pakistani. I personally agree with the division of India and believe its for good. I don't want to see the politicians playing around with this issue anymore. But every now and then, Pakistani authors are coming up with this kind of imaginary article is really irritating.

John, United Kingdom - 19 November, 2012

It is a good article for people of Pakistan. And this type of articles is showing its results
to Pakistani people. Look at your Balochistan, Karachi, Peshawar. And just wait till this fire spreads
to Lahore, & rest of Punjab, infested with extremist mindset.
Since its birth, people like you has been feeding this shit to your population & from the very first day of your birth, you have been seeing the results.
Have some guts to tell your readers that it was Pakistan which imposed 3 wars + Kargil on India.
It was your dictatorial mindset, which broke Pakistan into 2 - Pakistan + Bangladesh. Just look at Bangladesh,
it is way ahead of you in all respect of developments. It has much better exports than you, people are more educated there, it has much better international respect than your Pakistan; You are still in dreams. Just look at the world, it has passed you years & years ahead. And you are going back to stone age, day by day, just as Armitage said on your face...!!!!!!!
So baby, wake up.........!!!!!! Tell your people, Kargil was your idea. You back stabbed our PM Bajpayeeji......!!!!!!

seng kally, Pakistan - 19 November, 2012


It would be an understatement to call this article biased. More like it is hermetically sealed from global reality!

The Kargil conflict was entirely Pakistan's doing. The whole world knows that. The 1971 Indo-Pak war certainly led to the formation of Bangladesh, but was it India's fault? Pakistan is guilty of one of the greatest genocides of the 20th century during the liberation of Bangladesh. National Geographic puts it as up to 1-3 million killed!

Indian 'subversion' in Sindh and Balochistan are only Pakistani allegations. However, Pakistan's subversive activities in Kashmir and recently, in Mumbai are well established ones, acknowledged by third parties and even Pakistan (Sharif, Musharraf). At this point, India has excellent relations with all of its South Asian neighbors. It provides much financial aid to most of them. In addition, Indian companies invest heavily in Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

You talk about the "Brahmin elites" of India. Which era do you live in? None of India's multinational business houses - Reliance (Ambani), Birla, Tata, Jindal, belong to the "brahmin elites". The Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a Sikh; the Minister of External Affairs, Salman Khurshid, is a Muslim; the Defence Minister K. R. Anthony is a Christian; the finance Minister Chidambaram, is from a 'low' caste. These are the top four cabinet posts. Despite all its flaws, democracy and secularism are alive and well in India!

Sanjoy Das, United States - 19 November, 2012

Benazir Bhutto and Khalistan List

[Quote]"Benazir Bhutto went to the extent of providing list of Sikh leaders engaged in Khalistan movement but she failed to appease Rajiv Gandhi"[Unquote].
Dear Asif,
The above sentence in your write up seems to indicate pakistan was breeding ground for khalistan terrorists and Bhutto administration was aware of it?

Godisanastronaut, Netherlands - 19 November, 2012

and what....

And what is the problem, INDIA is stable country even after losing 800,000sq km to you (and you are trying to grab more KASHMIR) of course we have to keep on eye on you

I have more to say about Pakistan than India

The failed state of Pakistan is

Losing Balochistan, sindh and punjab to liberation armies
Civialans being shot including schoolgirls
Civilians being bombed
Taliban fighting pak armies
Wazistan out of control

I think you have bigger problems than pointing the finger

singh, - 19 November, 2012

PAK spending lies

Instead of looking at the poor and bring them up...the politicians and PAK Army/ISI always bluff to take the money into their pockets...PAK people will fight among themselves and the Politicians and PAK Army/ISI knew the mentality of the people...when they say India they will get united and just throw off their won problem...this is the game of those high authorities

Navin, - 19 November, 2012

all i can say that you dont know nothing you are just the old mine thinking ..when ever I read your article I get sick to my stomach ..all you do is to make peaple confused ,I dont see any different between you and the taliban..weak up it's 21 century we need to move behind old thinking we shouldn't even have a border like europ ..feed your people first ....

rahmat, United States - 19 November, 2012


The author of the article is blinded by the innate hostility towards India. One one side the current Pakistani leadership intensively working to enlarge the trade with India, to uplift the economy, ruined due to the fact that Pakistan's self inflicted and suicidal governance coupled with its military's extremism in all sphere of political activities. The successive coups in Pakistan by the military, has set forth a fear phobia in the civilian governance. The military leadership, discarded the ideals of Jinnah, who envisioned a greater Pakistan modeling the western democracy with social justice, security and equality for the people of all walks of life and a peaceful coexistence with the main land India. Several deceptive attempts of the ISI together with the army to annex Kashmir was thwarted by poorly armed Indian forces. If India wanted to annihilate Pakistan, 1971, rendered that golden opportunity. Kargil scenario was another snakelike attempt to test India's resolve. As always, the villain was defeated. The unfathomable cut was the carnage of the innocent civilians in the heart of Mumbai. These are very,very few evidence of Pakistan's intransigence. While the author laments about India's modernization, he hides the arms build up that Pakistan carries out with China's support. In comparison to Pakistan's build up, India's is negligible.The author has turned the facts into fiction to lull the public and seeks reasons to stage another coup.He also has completely ignored India's friendly overtures of opening the doors for Pakistan's investment thereby to gradually resolve the economic woes.This was done on the request of the Pakistani leaders, ascertaining the need of India, not China. India has more to offer than China's thunders. It is no more a secret that Pakistan has encicled India with proxies who are trained, financed and sent into India. India must toe Pakistan's line and negate all investment and trade relations and join the world to isolate her

ROBERT MATHEW, Saudi Arabia - 20 November, 2012

These bluufs are to panic the paki people and make them kneel to the isi and the army,
Pak army looses its grip once friendship blooms with india, but how long can they cheat and fool the people
One survey founded 2 thirds of the people wants to move out of pakistan , why
People are so fed up , why bangla desh didnt like pakistan, why sindhis , and balochs hate pakistan
Under its own weight pakistan will exist with punjab only , For sure

shihab, - 20 November, 2012

It is much easier to blame India for all the ills faced by Pakistanis, than looking at the realilty of the situation.

Pakistan and India have much similarity in the sense that there is rampant corruption on both sides of the border. This is the main cause of misery for citizens on both sides of the border. Unfortunately for Pakistan, the differentiator with India is that the military and ISI combine maintain instability in the country for their agenda, and conveniently make a scape-goat of India for all of Pakistan's woes, which is very unfortunate. Pakistan's unfortunate claim to fame, thanks to these agencies is that of a global sponsor of terrorism.
Unless the Pakistani civil society stands up for their rights in their country like India is trying to do, and feel the need to strongly fight corruption, there is going to be no significant improvement in their lifestyles.

At best, the future generation children will continue to become cannon fodder at the hands of ISI & it's associates(LeT, Taliban, etc). God bless.

altaf raja, - 22 November, 2012


....Shit, all these years I thought India, as a peaceful nation is non entity on the world stage. Fabrication or not the author has changed all that. I feel like a proud Indian. I never knew that India is capable of carrying so much weight around that it can screw the neighbors, after all it took four years to put away Kasab. In the west the justice would have been done much sooner. However, I must inform my Pakistani brothers that India do not consider Pakistan a threat, a failed state... for sure but never a threat. The author, with intent to start innuendos and false propaganda will only move few twisted minds but Pakistanis by large want to live in peace and harmony. The author, a retired brigadier, after all these years is still unable to absorb the defeat. Time to move on, sir.

DK, Denmark - 22 November, 2012

Stop bull shitting

Instead of getting good relations,i don't think closing borders to India is the solution of our problems,with whole world getting globalized,you want to be alone,c'mon get some heed.Politicians come up with these conspiracy theories,even if the theories are right,why don't the government do something to prevent it.Corruption and illiteracy is some of biggest issues.Look at Bangladesh they are way ahead of us,we should remake relations with Bangladesh forgetting the old days,and even apologize for our shameful acts.

Junaid Khan, Italy - 22 November, 2012

India encircling Pakistan? Hahahaha

This is the 21st century 's biggest joke. Why should India encircle pakistan?. Coz, u guys are the worlds 4th largest power economically and technologically. Its the worlds one of the most corrupt and illiterate country with violence and killin everyday occurence india don't need to encircle pakistan. I think author is in 15th century or just came out of coma!. You know whats the problem for pakistan?. Attitude. Unless it changes its attitude and take responsiblility its gonna be trash. The whole world knows about pakistan. so , please Mr. author keep this stupid stories with you. Am surprised pakistani people don't know any history . Oh well, let them go to school first instead of going to madrasaa!.

kannan, United States - 22 November, 2012

Pakistani from Montreal

Seriously for first two paragraphs you wrote facts and then slowly drifted to fiction writing like you always do in each of your article . India returned 90k POWs in 1971. If it wanted to weaken Pakistan it would have butchered them. If India wanted to really damage or cause issues , it would have done long back. Take this hatred and wrong information out of your mind and stop spreading hatred on imaginary. Our history books are already distorted but one realizes that only when they come abroad and see things in fact and not imagination. If we won all wars then why are we still fighting for Kashmir. Even we ourselves know that even if we fight for 100 years we wont win anything and thats why the need to declare a 1000years war . We here in Montreal stay peacefully with Indians and vice versa and it is just army and politicians which promote hate

munighil, Afghanistan - 23 November, 2012

India's ambitions to encircle Pakistan ha ha ha...Well, one thing is for sure....U, Mister Fictional Defense Analyst or whatever, are going straight to Hell for trying to make a fool of your own people u hate monger..... Dont want to waste anymore of anything on u....

sush, India - 09 January, 2013

Thought Provoking Article

Criticism for the sake of criticism enshrouded in lack of knowledge results in comments as offered by some of our friends.The fact is that Pakistan is genuinely making all efforts to normalize relations with India as correctly mentioned by the author.Indian should review its policy just as an elder brother in a family looks at his younger brothers with love and affection. If India can understand this equation nothing can stop friendly relations between these two states.Of course problems are there to be resolved mutually and if not bilaterally then some intermediary be accepted why not? Why make it an issue of prestige as India always does.

Taha, - 22 January, 2013


The author is writing about India's ambition to " encircle Pakistan ". In the comments people are saying that India should review its policies towards Pakistan and India should act like an elder brother. I mean what kind of nonsense is this. The autor speaks about the activities of RAW and the government of India but then what about you.

1. Your government is totally unstable and is always fearing a coup by your own army.
2. Your poverty level is reaching the skies and yet you spend infeasible amounts of money on developing WMD's ( a.k.a. Nuclear weapons)
3. All right, maybe it's all right for you to develop nuclear weapons but then why are you proliferating nuclear weapons at insane rates. Proof for this is your very own A.Q. Khan, the nuclear scientist.
4. The most wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden was found in Abbotabad right next to a military base. Incidentally after the US raids you people said that you were not aware of the occupant of the lone standing mansion which had 10 foot tall walls.
5. Your Inter Services Intelligence ( a.k.a. ISI ) has been proved to have direct links with the Taliban. ISI's involvement in the recent 26/11 attacks has already been proved and being expertly denied by your government.
6. The author talks about the various wars waged by India against Pakistan but every time it was Pakistan who caused the war in the first place and yet you allegate India to have waged an unprovoked war against Pakistan. Because that is very very funny.
7. Every second day Pakistan violates the 2003 ceasefire.
8. A week ago the Pakistan army crossed into India, killed two soldiers, mutilated their bodies, beheaded them and even took a head as a trophy. This act is damn DISGUSTING.

The irony is that despite these things all Pakistan cares for is how to allegate India senselessly and this article is mere proof to this fact.
What irks me even more is that you people still demand peace and want there to be peacefull commercial ties with India.

ssas19, India - 28 January, 2013

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