Pak’s million mutinies, ghosts and Doval’s doctrine of ‘defensive offence’

By Hindustan times

For decades, India has been on the receiving end of Pakistan’s relentless export of terrorism, the commodity in which it has enjoyed both a comparative as well as a competitive advantage. Faced with Pakistan’s use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy, India struggled to devise an adequate response.

After every big terror attack, there was a standard response in India: the government threatened to retaliate and talking heads on TV nudged government strategists to pay back Pakistan in the same coin. The standard response to this unsolicited advice was that India couldn’t stoop to Pakistan’s level. But many security experts have reasoned that the real reason was that India just never bothered to build the leverages, capacities and capabilities that would have allowed New Delhi to hit Pakistan where it hurt.

Since 2014, however, things started to change, or so we are being told by the Pakistanis.

For some time now, the Pakistanis have been trying to implicate India in problems that are really the result of blowback of their own flirtation with terrorism and using it as an instrument of the security and foreign policy of the state. There is, however, no solid evidence to back up Pakistan’s allegations against India, unless of course, someone is ready to subscribe to the pulp-fiction dossier, or if you will, shoddy ‘literature’, that Pakistan recently publicised with much fanfare.

If the Pakistani ‘dossier’ were to be taken at its face value, it would seem that India has more than paid back to Pakistan. That Indian spooks have succeeded spectacularly in Pakistan by not only engineering the greatest intelligence coup of the century – turning Pakistan’s strategic assets into its deadliest enemies – but also boxed in Pakistan so hard by exploiting its fault-lines that it now fears its very survival.

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