Ever since Pakistan achieved nuclear parity with India in the 1980s, it had clung on the precarious nuclear balance to allow itself to sponsor low-intensity conflict against India by supporting cross border terrorism- her modus operandi is to bleed India by thousand cuts. And India had no effective response to such blackmailing strategy of Pakistan, so much so it did not allow its warplanes to cross LoC during the Kargil war in 1999, and no tangible response to the Parliament attack in 2001 and 26/11 Mumbai attack can be attributed to the defensive posture of Indian military policy. However, the Uri and Balakot surgical strikes under the present government have shattered this myth of “nuclear overhang”, crafted by Pakistan to deter a robust Indian response to cross border terrorism.
One important takeaway of the Balakot air strike is that today the LoC is no more sacrosanct, and the New India is no more victim to Pakistan’s design of nuclear blackmail that sought to neutralise India’s vast conventional military superiority. Equally important takeaway has been on the diplomatic front as India has been successful for the first time to isolate Pakistan on the terrorism issue. Interestingly no nation condemned India’s action of intrusion into Pakistan’s airspace, instead all major powers supported her action to weed out terrorism.
These all serve as statement of intent by India that she has come of her age in the global arena with her economic and geopolitical clout, changing the familiar script of India Pakistan military crises forever.
Writes: Sakal Ulysses Dewan