lolThe Bangladesh factor in a future Pakistan India conflict.
Can Bangladeshi "neutrality" be taken for granted?
Is it far fetched to assume Bangladesh is not neutral, and does pose a very minuscule but still possible threat to Pakistan?
Let's look at the facts:
1.0 Overall picture:
Bangladesh has supported India in all its military actions against Pakistan since 1971.
2.0 Military interoperability and alliance:
Bangladesh and India have a formal economic and military alliance , and a complete interoperability and mutual logistics support amongst their armed forces. Bangladesh and Indian armed forces ( particularly the Bangladeshi Navy) exercise and war game with their Indian armed forces counterparts regularly with an undisguised identification of who the "enemy " is.
A large batch of Bangladeshi army officers graduate from India's defense academies ( NDA, Khadakvasla, Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, OTS Madras, ) as well as undergoing advanced training at institutions such as Wellington Staff College. Sharing common equipment BAF maintenance and flying personnel are regularly trained in India.,
2.0 The diplomatic angle:
The Indian Pakistan military confrontations ( Siachen 1985, Operation Brasstacks 1987, Kargil 1999, 2002, 2019, LOC shelling ) have nowhere involved Bangladesh or in anyway affected Bangladeshi security, yet diplomatically Bangladesh has completely sided with India both at international forums such as the UN (or what's left of SAARC ) and on a one on one level echoing the Indian foreign ministry statements and condemning Pakistan.
3.0 Bangladeshi military activity against Pakistan
So far Bangladesh has limited its activity mainly to observers such as during Operations Brass Tacks (1987). Also the BAF takes a keen interest in downed Pakistani military aircraft such as the recovered debris of the PN Breguet Atlantic shot down inside Pakistani airspace by an IAF Mig 21 in 1999.
4. Open threats to Pakistan :
Particularly in 2019 and also before, there have threats made by the foreign office of Bangladesh against Pakistan, echoing the Indian Ministry of Defense and senior Indian Military officers. The threats have been made by the Bangladesh Foreign office only , unlike their ally where chiefs of the three armed forces wings have usually issued threats The Bangladeshi COAS, BAF, ACM, and BN Admiralty have not been making any comments so far.
But why would Bangladesh get involved in an Indian conflict with Pakistan. The simple answer in theory is that there is a mutual defense pact which is supposed to work both ways and India can ask Bangladesh and Bhutan ( and possibly Nepal) to join in a coalition in a war with Pakistan.
The next question is why would India want to involve Bangladesh and Bhutan in a war against Pakistan and would Bangladesh agree.
The answer is that for propaganda purposes India would very much like to have Bangladeshi forces fighting alongside ( deja vu 1971) even though Indian armed forces commanders know that the real impact of Bangladesh's participation in a war with Pakistan would be minimal. Showing a "coalition" is a great diplomatic and psychological warfare feat. Other countries have done this such as the USA who frequently coopts allies in its wars even though their contribution is minimal.
The USA brought Mongolian troops to fight in Iraq as part of the "coalition". The presence of the Mongols ( all 100 of them) was to demoralize the Iraqis recalling the sack of Baghdad by Hulaku Khan in 1258 C.E. The Mongol contingent left after several of their troops were killed by Iraqi resistance.
It's the famous "Us vs You" psychological stance.
Reasons for Bangladesh to join a war against Pakistan:
Economic, diplomatic and political compulsions do produce far fetched scenarios such as the current turn around by most Arab states in favor of Israel. As discussed elsewhere Bangladesh has a severe land and population problem and the solution lies in having open borders with India for population migration. Given the Hindutva rhetoric in India the only way Bangladesh can win over Indian nationalist sentiment is by being more "Hindutva" than the RSS itself.
Since the prime target of Hindutva are Pakistan and Indian Muslims (both of which Bangladesh hates) it makes sense from a strategic point of view to symbolically join the war against Pakistan. Hopefully as a staunch ally a merger with India ( Sikkim style) will be more palatable to a Hindu majority India than it was in 1972 and 1975. The Hindutva regime in India would be closer to their dream of a greater India and it would ensure the Modi regime and its successor Yogi Aditynaths regime a solid electoral foundation going forward for centuries.
( Note: We could discuss Bangladesh's issues in separate thread)
The war game:
We have already war gamed the India Pakistan ultimate showdown scenario and how the war would escalate into a nuclear blood bath so this article is confined to a limited war initiated and planned by the India Bangladesh Axis for a diplomatic and military humiliation of Pakistan where the war would be brief and limited holding the threshold just short of a full Pakistani collapse where Pakistan would use nuclear weapons as a last desperate act of retaliation.
It's a different topic but the war would only be waged when Bangladesh and India believe that Pakistan is sufficiently isolated from its traditional West Asian alliance and economically weakened through international sanctions.
Bangladesh's contribution to India's war effort.
Realistically what would be Bangladesh's contribution to India's military actions on Pakistan's eastern borders.
A few BAF Su 30s would probably be flying operations in support of the IAF within Indian airspace . Much of the BAF support would be from transport aircraft as both India and Bangladesh fly C130Js. BAF Mil 17s would probably pitch in. It is doubtful given the training and lack of war experience that BAF would carry out air strikes inside Pakistan, unless they can miraculously come with worthy successors to Rafique and Saiful Azam.
Bangladesh Navy would probably be assisting Indian Navy operations in the Palk Straits trying to intercept Pakistani maritime traffic en-route to China
Army support :
Bangladesh would probably like to avoid casualties hoping for a grand re-enactment of 1971 with the heavy lifting done by India.
BA units are unlikely to be involved in direct fighting especially as there is a severe danger of heavy casualties from a tactical nuclear strike. A few BA units might be positioned as reserves in the rear to function as an occupation force once a portion of the front collapses. India would like to keep the occupied areas under "Muslim" alliance control as their armor moves deeper towards other objectives.
Hopefully the presence of Muslim troops will deter a partisan Mujahid resistance.
The ultimate war game
Pakistan does not share borders with Bangladesh and so there are fewer ways Pakistan can retaliate in a limited conflict. Bangladesh's forces have a huge advantage operating from friendly Indian territory.
. Pakistani submarines would doubtless target Bangladeshi commercial maritime traffic through the Arabian sea and BAF aircraft operating in Indian airspace would be fair game. Bangladesh Army units stationed in the rear of the IB within artillery and MRLS range would definitely be targeted.
We could war game a huge number of scenarios elsewhere but to conclude with the question:
In an ultimate Apocalypse Pakistan would be targeting Kolkata. Would Pakistan strike Dhaka and the rest of Bangladesh as well, knowing that the vast majority of the civilian deaths would be of our so called "brethren in faith" ?
fools are day dreaming .