Pakistan’s military mobilisation bogey didn’t work—it only exposed the army’s hand in the Mumbai attacks
It is hard to say whether the good retired brigadier Shaukat Qadir actually believes in his own fairy tale or is merely trying to make the skunk smell good in public. For he argues that “the token withdrawal of troops from our western borders was also an exercise in employing defence to further diplomatic ends and accelerate international efforts to defuse tensions between two nuclear neighbours; and it was successful.”
His first argument about how Pakistan showed tremendous restraint in the face of belligerent words and actions on the ground by India is factually wrong. According to the the same paper that published his analysis, Pakistan threatened to pull back 100,000 troops on 29 November 2008, even as the Mumbai siege was in progress. Far from responding to any hostile action from India, Pakistan’s alacrity in troop movements suggests that this was a pre-planned move, and half of which failed in the end.
And his argument that moving one armoured and one infantry division to a strategic location that would threaten India’s lines of communication is ridiculous. For if all it took to deter India from attacking Pakistan were army divisions at strategic locations, then why did Pakistan ever have to invest in nuclear weapons at such great cost to itself? It is plain and simple that Pakistan is using its nuclear weapons to provide cover and protection to terrorists. That smell won’t go away so quickly.