Infiltration in Kargil Pakistan's Objectives and Strategies

09 Jun, 1999    ·   199

D.Suba Chandran analyse the objectives and Strategies of Pakistan in Kargil and beyond

The major objective behind the current infiltration of the Pakistan backed militants seems to be in continuation with its larger goal of internationalising the Kashmir issue. Pakistan was always attempting to send militants into Kashmir . This is evident from the immediate reactions of Pakistan after the Indian efforts made to eject the militants from its soil. The Foreign Minister of Pakistan requested the United Nation’s Secretary General, Kofi Annan, to send a Special Representative. The purpose, according to Aziz is "By himself (the special representative) being here, he can be able to reduce the ongoing tension and this could also lead to an increase in the presence of United Nations military observers". Later, Pakistan ’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also sent a letter to the UN Secretary General, in which he has stated that India 's rejection of third party involvement in the Kashmir dispute negated the global trend for mediated settlement of conflicts. Thus the plan of Pakistan seems to be the internationalisation of the Kashmir issue, by calling for either the UN intervention or a third party mediation.



The second part of this strategy is embedded within the first one – to provoke India to retaliate, so that the issue could get internationalised. The fact that the militants have been supplied with Stinger missiles suggests that Pakistan anticipated air attacks from the Indian side.



The third reason underlying Pakistan ’s strategy could be to revive the insurgency in Kashmir . In the recent past, the insurgency situation in Kashmir has coming well under control, through the ongoing army operations. Life in Kashmir was returning to normalcy and the fact that tourism in Jammu and Kashmir was picking up and cinema shootings had restarted proves this reality. Internationalisation of the Kashmir issue would have received little response, if the situation in Kashmir remained calm and under the control of India . Hence it was essential for Pakistan to create trouble inside Kashmir and gain the attention of the international community.



Fourthly, Pakistan ’s policy is to make Kashmir appear as the “nuclear flash point” of the sub continent. With both countries becoming nuclear powers and a section of analysts in the subcontinent and elsewhere strongly believing that any clash between the “immature” India and Pakistan would result in nuclear war, Pakistan expects that the pressure would be greater on India to immediately solve the Kashmir issue. Pakistan ’s Foreign Minister referred Kashmir as a “nuclear flashpoint” resolving which is essential for the peace and stability of the region. To a large extent, Pakistan has succeeded in bringing the Kashmir issue to international notice. However, it is unlikely that Pakistan would be able to succeed in gaining the support of any major country including the US and UK to find a solution to this issue either through the UN or through third party mediation. However, an increase in militancy and threat to normalcy, could create a fear in the minds of citizens living in the area and make them question the effectiveness of the Indian Army. The psychological effect of civilians vacating their areas of residence would affect the victims and the others living in the state.



At the strategic level, Pakistan ’s expectations are probably be to direct the focus of India and the Army to Kargil and to areas surrounding Kargil, it would be easier for the militants to infiltrate through other entry points. The second strategic objective would be to control NH-1A, the national highway from Srinagar to Leh. Even if the militants could control the highway for a short period, it would be sufficient to score a point or two. Pakistan is well aware that the militants cannot hold the highway for long, because of Indian army operations and the international pressure. Probably, Pakistan might have thought that by the time, India begin its counter efforts, it could open the diplomatic channel and take credit for seeking for peace in the subcontinent. The fact that Nawaz spoke about sending his Foreign Minister Aziz confirms this assumption. Thirdly, at a broader level, the ISI is sure to increase its activities elsewhere in India , through aiding various fundamental groups in India , especially in the South. The Police in TamilNadu have recovered explosive devices in many parts of Madras , which prove this point.