Cold Start has been one of the biggest concerns of Pakistan’s military and civilian government. The argument has been protracted for a while now and the Pakistani military has carried out many an exercise to counter this threat. At this stage the Pakistani military thinks that it has significant response capabilities to nullify the Indian Cold Start strike.
They could have been right if India had followed through with its military diktat, but unknown to the Pakistani military and civilian establishment, the Indian military changed its strategy and game plan right in mid-stride. The Cold Start doctrine that initially constituted a military strike at requisite targets took a shape and form of totally different nature that was not known to our military, which incidentally is extremely rigid in its approach and analysis.
In the past few years, India had taken a route of economic growth and progress, where any kind of war or aggression by the forces in uniform would have been devastating for its economy, social welfare and standing in the world.
So just after the Indians had moved their troops toward Pakistan’s border and had the full attention of the Pakistani military, mid-stride they switched gears. The Indians turned their full attention and operations toward other forms of warfare that have been subversive in nature and have managed to cause severe economic repercussions as well as massive unrest in Pakistan. This unrest in the masses was created through hyperactive news coming through controlled news media and possibly even sponsored terrorist activities. While the Pakistani military was lost in searching the elusive Indian military Cold Strike in the Sindh desert and the Punjab plains, the Indian subversive Cold Start doctrine was operating at 110% of its strength in all venues of the Pakistani community within months of its inception.
The goal has been to cripple Pakistan’s capabilities, starting with economic slowdown to gradually bring it to a standstill, and also creating unrest in the society through indiscriminate bombings of civilian targets. This was done through ‘paid for’ vendors and outsourcing it to the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and the Baloch Liberation Front. These have brought about the desired result at a much faster pace than expected.
Match this with lacklustre reaction from the Pakistan military establishment and General Staff officers who have no clue of establishing a security ring around military establishments, let alone less critical targets. The Cold Start strike that the Indians started with military formations within stone throw away from the Pakistani border created the successful ruse that the Indians have managed to carry for many years.
Even to this day the Pakistan military is totally lost searching for clues to the whereabouts of Cold Start. They are still planning and arranging war games, air combat and naval warfare games to get ready for something that is not coming in the form they expected it to.
And sadly and truly, it does not come from the direction where they expected it. They are mentally not prepared to counter it in an aggressive manner, and have not ever created a contingency plan to strike against it in a pro active manner. They just don’t believe that it is happening.
That is why the Pakistan military doesn’t want to accept any different form of Cold Start — If it does not fall within the parameters of ‘their’ defined guidelines of Cold Start, then it does not exist. In order for them to react to its existence, they would have to recognize its presence, and as they are still searching for that elusive monster, they have no clue when, where and how to face it, even when it is staring back at them right in front of their faces.
As for the naysayers, you just have to look at the results. India has already achieved its primary goals. Pakistan is a declared pariah state in the world community, its economy is in shambles, terrorists can attack and strike any target of opportunity at their discretion and at their own pace, and all this time the valiant Pakistani military keeps a watch hopelessly for salvation to appear from somewhere else.