Beijing: Indian Army’s “Cold Start” doctrine to seize control of Pakistani territory might be intimidating but will not lead to a “landslide” victory against nuclear-armed Pakistan, state-run Chinese media has said.
“Both India and Pakistan are nuclear-armed countries. Even if the Cold Start strategy sounds intimidating and there is indeed a gap between the two powers’ military might, it does not mean that New Delhi can easily win a landslide victory against Islamabad,” an article in the state-run Global Times said on Tuesday.
“The truth is, Pakistan has considerable strength to safeguard its sovereignty and its nuclear weapons should not be ignored,” it said.
The daily said that given the uncertainties of US’ future policy toward South Asia, the India-Pakistan peace process, which is already frozen, is now in a “critically fragile state”.
“Against this backdrop, any remark that might threaten the delicate peace between the two nations from the Indian military authority will undoubtedly trigger a strong reaction in Pakistan,” it said.
“Since the 1998 nuclear tests in India and Pakistan, it is quite common to hear such war of words like the latest one. In the meantime, tensions between the two can also be eased once in a while,” it said.
The daily said that despite the fact that New Delhi is “hostile” against Islamabad, initiating a war against Pakistan is not a welcoming idea among Indian people. “That being said, such verbal warfare can hardly escalate into armed confrontation,” it said.
It also said that US President Donald Trump may follow a “balanced policy” between India and Pakistan unlike his predecessor Barack Obama who adopted a “comprehensive pro-India policy”.
“Trump’s South Asia policy may be different from that of Obama, who adopted a comprehensive pro-India policy in his final years in office,” the daily said.
“Trump called Pakistani Prime Minister first after winning the election, which may be a crucial signal – he would take a more balanced strategy between New Delhi and Islamabad.
If so, it is possible to see a slight recovery in the India-Pakistan relations,” it said.
About the India-Pakistan peace process, it said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi once sought to restart the peace talks with Pakistan and warm up New Delhi’s relationship with Islamabad by inviting his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif to attend his inauguration ceremony, which was an unprecedented” act.
“The bilateral relations were relaxed at that time. Yet, due to a number of other factors, such as India accusing Islamabad of terror attacks in Kashmir and New Delhi’s bid to add Pakistan-based organisation Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Masood Azhar, chief of Pakistan-based group Jaish-e-Mohammed, to the UN Security Council’s terror list, India-Pakistan ties worsened,” it said.
“The odds of a thaw in India-Pakistan relations are very small under such a circumstance. But once their war of words escalates to the point of armed combat, both sides will surely adopt measures to reduce the tension,” it said.