World War 3 fear: Warning India may invade Pakistan territory dragging China into conflict
NARENDRA MODI may be gearing up for a high-stakes invasion of Pakistan-occupied areas of Kashmir in a move which would risk dragging China into a potentially disastrous conflict, an expert has claimed.
And New Delhi-based defence and aerospace journalist NC Bipindra has offered a step-by-step breakdown of how the situation could escalate. Tensions between India and Pakistan over the disputed region have soared in recent months, especially since last year’s terror attack by Pakistani militants will claimed the lives of 44 Indian paramilitary policemen.
The resultant tit-for-tat exchanges saw India launch air strikes on what it said were militant training camps, and Pakistan shoot down an Indian jet fighter.
Writing in The New Indian Express, Mr Bipindra said: “The Modi government has in the last year made noises about proactively taking back PoK and the Gilgit-Baltistan territories.
“In January, Indian Army chief General Manoj Naravane had said if Parliament approved, his forces were ready.
“India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh have all indicated that India can take back what’s rightfully its own territory, based on a 1994 Parliament resolution.”
Mr Bipindra suggested such an operation would first involved Mr Modi dispatching the INS Vikrant aircraft carrier, which is equipped with BrahMos supersonic missiles, along with its Carrier Battle Group, to blockade Pakistani ports.
At the same time, 50,000 troopers would be mobilised and would the Line of Control into the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Simultaneously, Rafale airfcraft would bomb Pakistan ammunition dumps along the LoC, with Islamabad launching a fleet of F-16 jets to engage the Rafales.
Mr Bipindra said: “The air battle rages, as Indian troops on ground, backed by T-90 and T-72 battle tanks, move through Jammu into Pakistan, as part of the Strike Corps’ offensive to capture strategic targets deep inside enemy territory.
“This signals an all-out war between India and Pakistan to take back control of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK); a strategic objective that has been articulated by the Indian military and political top brass in 2019.”
The problem with the scenario, from India’s point of view, was the close strategic alliance which exists between Pakistan and China, said Mr Bipindra.
He added: “China scores over India on the missile warfare front. It has inter-continental missiles that can even reach the US mainland. Its DF-21 are aircraft carrier killers.
“India, on the other hand, has developed the Agni-V missile that can reach Beijing.
“It is still developing a K-5 submarine-launched ballistic missile with a range of 3,500 km.
“It has also successfully tested the 700-km range K-15 submarine-launched ballistic missile.”
Whatever the head to head comparison, the probability of the situation escalating into a wider conflict would be immense, Mr Bipindra warned.
He explained: “As things stand today, if there is a two-front attack on India from China and Pakistan, South Block expects both the US and Russia to support it.
“While Russia has been a traditional diplomatic friend of India and values this relationship more than with any other country, the US has shed its Cold War era doubts and has been taking sure-footed steps toward better diplomatic and economic ties.
“Moreover, the US has more defence business to do with India than with China or Pakistan, which could be a key factor in deciding Washington’s allegiance if India has to defend itself from the China-Pakistan military axis.”