Former defence secretary says New Delhi shifted tack to use subversive activities

ISLAMABAD: Despite the hype surrounding it, the Cold-Start doctrine of India has failed to achieve its objective. Incapable of defeating Islamabad in conventional warfare, New Delhi has now opted to embark on the Doval doctrine comprising subversive activities.

This was stated by former defence secretary Lieutenant-General (retired) Asif Yasin Malik while talking during a round-table discussion on Wednesday. The round-table had been organised by the South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI).

The former defence secretary said that Indian indigenous tanks and light combat aircraft (LCA) are obsolete while a prospective deal for F-16 may not come through. “The Indians are convinced that they cannot defeat Pakistan in a war, this is the reason that they have operationalized the Doval doctrine against Pakistan and are carrying out subversive activities,” he said.

Lt Gen Yasin was of the view that India’s induction of an aircraft carrier in its fleet followed by a massive military modernization drive was basically aimed at becoming a global power. These force multipliers, however, may not be relevant to Pakistan, he believed.

“The Cold Start Doctrine will be history after five years,” he concluded. SASSI Director General Dr Maria Sultan said that the Cold Start Doctrine (CSD) was aimed at destabilising South Asia.

However, if India believes it can put Pakistan in a decision-making crisis through such steps, then the strategy is irrational and such steps will only result in destabilizing the region, she said.

Dr Sultan was of the view that such discussions are beneficial to understand the changes at the military and doctrinal levels and the context of India – Pakistan strategic stability and changing dynamics of deterrence stability in South Asia.

SASSI Research Fellow Masoodur Rehman Khattak gave a presentation on the “Indian Military’s Cold Start Doctrine: Implications for the Strategic Stability of South Asia”.