Well begun is half done.
One emotion which integrates all Pakistanis is hatred for India.
Pakistani Army practices exhibition of rationality-irrationality.
That is on display.
The other half won’t be easy to sort out

Note: please read this with my other blogs on this issue to get a 360-degree view

Rubicon Crossed

India crossed a Rubicon when it carried out its intelligence led pre-emptive non-military air strikes across the LOC and in Pakistani territory on the terrorist training camp at Balakot. It has set a standard of resolve and intent in dealing with the sub conventional threat conventionally irrespective of damage caused and Pakistani perception management in this operation. In one go it has shed the image of being a weak state and transformed into a power to reckon with. By striking surgically at an isolated target and ensuring that collateral damage is minimum either of civilian or military life and assets, it put Pakistani Army in an embarrassing position. The Deep State has responded aggressively unmindful of the consequences. The fall out is widespread. It needs to be understood to get the right perspective.

This event is only a beginning. Pakistani Army will retaliate further as its Prime Minister speaks peace.  It is a matter of pride and survival for them. Conventional retaliatory strikes on Indian territory will be the norm. Terror strikes are imminent despite exposing the Deep State’s habit of sponsoring terrorism. Heating up the LOC is only a reflex face saver which will subside when ammunition shortage starts pinching and our retaliation becomes stronger. We need to second guess them and keep at it.  In any case in this conflict we should be prepared to win some and lose some. It will be a long haul. At some stage bigger numbers will prevail and Pakistan will crack. 
Internal Turmoil

The internal turmoil generated by continued actions will be twofold. On one hand people of Pakistan will start questioning the ability and credibility of the Deep State to save them from external aggression as the conflict progresses. The Deep State will be exposed to be weak. Professionally it cannot match the Indian Armed Forces. Seen in conjunction with the US raid to eliminate Osama Bin Laden, the vulnerability felt by the people due to repeated inability of the Pakistani Army will bubble forth. The people had already started questioning the utility of the Deep State which has been maintained despite huge deprivation to themselves. On the other hand, the state instruments of terror and the sword arms – JEM /LET will feel let down that the Deep State might not be able to protect them. After all they do the dirty work for the Deep State. The fallout of sustaining military pressure puts the Pakistani Establishment in a bind. 
Value of Restraint

The restraint exhibited by India in the aftermath of 26/11 Mumbai attacks and many more that followed have built a reservoir of international understanding. The cross LOC strikes of 2016 and the Pakistani retaliation of ramping up the tempo of terror has enlarged this reservoir. Resultantly the reaction from the international community will be that the Deep State has it coming. In fact, the US President seems to even have given the tacit nudge to go ahead through his tweets. China’s reaction has been muted and restrained. UK and Russia have advised restraint by both sides.  Australia and France have come out openly against Pakistan There will be no sympathy for Pakistan. The world will feel that India has done them a favor once this is over.
Abbottabad Factor

It has also clearly emerged that the Deep State has assiduously built its assets in remote hill regions away from international scrutiny. Consider the fact that Abbottabad is close to this camp. Abbottabad was proximal to Osama bin Laden’s hideout. The interconnection is too close to ignore. The Deep State’s involvement and policy of using terror as an instrument of the State lies exposed. The international community will only harden its stand against Pakistan. Its economy will take a bigger hit to begin with. As if things were not bad. 

Post US Dispensation in Afghanistan

The fall out on the Post US dispensation in Afghanistan will now be interesting. This event should convince USA, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and very importantly the sensible elements in Taliban that Pakistani role in Afghanistan will have to be limited. A huge opportunity has opened for India. Good diplomacy dictates an initiative to form the India- Iran- Afghanistan axis to contain Pakistan. The strategic space for Pakistan must be shrunk. The surplus Taliban fighters must be harnessed like never before.
China Card

The initial Chinese reactions have been muted. The fall-out however must be seen in a wider perspective. Whoever predicted reunion of Germany or Vietnam accurately? To its East the North Koreans are dealing with USA. If there is a break through, if the Koreas unite, if Trump prevails and if a deal is struck; there is a good chance that USA will be sitting across Yalu once again. That’s bad news for China. To the West its Rusted Iron friend lies exposed and discredited. The Flagship of BRI – CPEC is dangerously close to this strike. If the terror factory is not curtailed or the Deep State does not mend its ways, Chinese interests could be hurt even more. Pakistani people will soon question Chinese inability to support them. The season is bad for all weather friends. Add internal problems of China. Suddenly everyone will see that China has limitations. They are limiting indeed.
Nuclear Bogey

Pervez Musharraf has exposed the Nuclear Bogey when he said that one nuke by Pak could invite twenty by India. Virtually, he has put the nuclear cat amongst the Pakistani pigeons. An anti-terror nonmilitary intelligence led surgical strike on a terrorist camp with no collateral damage is at the very bottom of the Nuclear escalatory ladder. The Deep State will suddenly realize the shallowness of flouting the nuclear card irresponsibly. I think the days of suicidal pointing a gun to its own head and screaming murder are over for Pakistan.
Lack of Crisis Managers

A major fall out of this event is that suddenly there are no crisis managers for Pakistan. During Kargil there was USA. Before that it was USSR. China is muted. Saudis will demur. Iran is sharpening its claws. It is open season. Going to UN and complaining about Indian aggression is no great deal. Suddenly they are on their own. That’s a new situation for them. Very sobering. If this is not isolation, what is?
Prospects Ahead

What are the prospects going ahead? The Deep State has undertaken an operation to save its face and create an opportunity to escalate the situation to play its nuclear ace. That is the minimum we should expect. Avoid that trap and be prepared with other responses. The second option is of course to incite people of J& K. That – they will do so. A humanitarian crisis in J&K will give them the opening they seek. Indian Government should head that off. The initial reaction in J&K would have been of stunned silence. But the hardliners will recover, and emotions will surface. The trick is to keep them on the backfoot through the carrot and stick routine.
Food for Thought

The history of Pakistan suggests that whenever Pakistan has been threatened its Army has let the people down. This event is no different. However, despite that the people have had no alternative but to go back to the Deep State. The Army and the people are on one page in their hatred for India. As usual will the people go back to the Army only? Mr Imran Khan is on a sticky wicket. On all such previous occasions the ensuing fall out has led to a coup and the Army got back to the top. Will it be different this time?  

Avoid Complacency

What about India?  Get going for the long haul. Well begun. Half done. The road ahead will be rocky. We should not lose focus – destroy the Deep State. Reinforce the Balakot action with another action from another direction. A different key from the same piano.  Well calibrated. Without jingoism. No politicization. Keep it out of electoral politics. Till then – well done IAF. The nation is proud of you. Abhinandan will come back. Boy you are great. Salute.      


  1. So we'll written… great analysis

  2. What's the 'end state” expected?

  3. Sir, A deep all round analysis. This action has also changed the paradigm in the subcontinent that crossing of air space is the start of conventinal war. The use of air power in sub conventional war was long due and the Balakot operation will be remembered for that.For the future it may have opened another window, of delivering ordnance precisely by long range vectors or through armed ae platforms like UAVs.

  4. A very well articulated and cogent analysis of the whole scenario. This article deserves very careful study by our Policy makers

  5. Great analysis. I hope we retain our momentum and initiative. It's the right time to bring Pak to its knees once and for all. Just 10 cuts are enough to bleed it fully.

  6. Great analysis. I hope we retain our momentum and initiative. It's the right time to bring Pak to its knees once and for all. Just 10 cuts are enough to bleed it fully.

  7. SirAn excellent article analysing the scenario being played out in past few days. I feel India should not deescalate now and push home the advantage – the doors have been left open with MEA statement yesterday that Pak tried to attack our military installations. Another well calibrated and precision strike will be a right step while keeping the LC lit up.

  8. Beautiful Analysis sir. Very well written. Respects sir!!

  9. Absolutely comprehensive analysis of the situation by you. Congratulations to that.The momentum must continue without any political or international interference. It is time that the job well started must be finished. Our armed forces have the capability to do that. Jai Hind

  10. The problem with India is the divergent views on how this problem is to be handled. Religious and caste politics overshadow any unity of a common approach while dealing with Kashmir problems. The ultras are using misguided youth in Kashmir to attack us which apparently has resulted in lack of a possible solution .Pakistan is not going to be on our side as the so called freedom fighters in POK are keeping the Kashmir dispute ignited all the time that suits them. I don't think military solution is a possibility except that it will only keep the fire raging on both the sides. Political and economic solutions look to be better alternatives but when that happens is anybody's guess.

  11. The Sensible Elements in the Taliban should now start looking at the big picture and think in terms of giving a fresh alignment to the DURAND LINE.

  12. Well articulated. Yes the key strokes on the piano must continue. Side by side, kashmir needs to be addressed and the deep state within be exposed.

  13. India should initiate talks with the Taliban regarding the DURAND LINE and give them help with regard to resetting history

  14. A well written article that reflects the positives for India. I wish the General had also discussed the cons where Pakistan can inflict damages. Gen Bajwa is probably the most astute Army Chief Pakistan has had in years. Immediately after our strike he had mobilised the Army in POK and started attacks on our posts. We can be sure he knows it is not going to be a full scale war and so would have planned to inflict humiliating minor damages. The fact that their Air Force attacked Nowshera immediately shows that they are not in a state of self denial as after the ‘surgical strikes’ in 2016. Our media within a couple of hours was full of planted news of over 300 trainee terrorists along with 25 trainers being killed. I dare say that this was the handiwork of NSA head Doval who loves to be in the thick of things and take charge. Foreign media have stated otherwise. The Balakot establishment is supposed to have been vacated in 2005.

  15. Have a question or two sir.. does the mean world has a value for restraint, specifically countries like Australia albeit not being a major player in global arena will never understand the game.Two, from insertion to extraction ae usage was always an option what stopped ibdiI to exercise the viable force

  16. Thanks for your comment. Restraint is a virtue. In this case it has come to a point that Pakistan has no place to turn to. No friends left. Secondly . Restraint enables build up of strength and opening up opportunities. Overt aggressive posturing achieves the opposite. Usage of ac has always been an option for India. However the tacit understanding we had with the international community since 1999( kargil war )was not to cross the LOC. We kept our side of the bargain for two decades as Pakistan kept violating it using Non State terrorist groups to hit at our people (in non combat mode), deep in our territory. in my assessment, the sanctity of the LOC has been lost. Any terrorist is fair game wherever he is with whatever means.

  17. Thank you sir for the reply.As regards global will to deal with acts of terrorism, it is clouded by bias of individual nation in what can be termed as 'suits me or no' theory. Hence expecting thumbs up from global big brothers may not be the way forward for ibdil. Kindly suggest a mechanism to deal with the internal, well oiled machinery which will time and again throw afzal gurus, considering ibdil will have to fight it's fight on it's own.

  18. The war against terror, has no definable END STATE. It's a cat fight, with each trying to maintain the upper hand. Actions which profess to be “conclusive”, even if effective, are mostly farcical. Without commenting upon the effectiveness of the Balakot Strikes in a public forum, the over all strategic effect of these strikes on the terror machinery, would be negligible. Some fresh considerations would be added in Pak's future calculations. In sum therefore, it was as strategically effective as “demonetisation” !Politically of course, it may have results, which may never be assessed or proved.A great analysis by a cerebral Veteran Generalofficer. Kudos !

  19. A very good analysis. A holistic view and overall impact of such an action is important. Not only it has dealt a blow on Pakistan it has had an impact globally. It has opened the eyes of our political hierarchy and the people. It is also a step towards eradication of the stigma of being a soft State. The bogey of a nuclear faĺlout has been exposed. The sayin that 'Power grows from the barrel of a gun has come out clearly' seen and experienced by our nation. The fallout hopefully will be the strengthening of our forces..

  20. Do not use all of these Private Money Lender here.They are located in Nigeria, Ghana Turkey, France and Israel.My name is Mrs.Ramirez Cecilia, I am from Philippines. Have you been looking for a loan?Do you need an urgent personal or business loan?contact Fast Legitimate Loan Approval he help me with a loan of $78.000 some days ago after been scammed of $19,000 from a woman claiming to be a loan lender from Nigeria but i thank God today that i got my loan worth $78.000.Feel free to contact the company for a genuine financial call/whats-App Contact Number +918929509036 Email:(

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: