THE India and other adversaries have been successfully operating hybrid warfare techniques to bleed Pakistan. They failed to coerce or frighten Islamabad with their conventional and nuclear weapons mighty arsenals. The India under Modi government has been making alliances and devising new trade routes to Afghanistan and Iran to undercut Pakistani trade and to threaten the CPEC under OBOR mega regional connectivity project. They are also using sophisticated propaganda for maligning and financing militants for conducting terrorist activities in the country. The gist of the fact is that India and its like-minded states make use of conventional/unconventional, regular/irregular, overt/covert tools, and exploit all the dimensions of war to undermine Pakistan’s national security.
The hybrid warfare countermeasures necessitate the proper conceptualization of this new-generation of warfare. What is meant by hybrid warfare? It is a type of warfare widely understood a blend of conventional/unconventional, regular/irregular, and information and cyber warfare. Precisely, hybrid warfare is a full-spectrum of warfare without any limitation of just war precepts. Though the hybrid wars are a contemporary feature of global strategic environment, yet the concept of Hybrid Warfare is not new as the same subversive techniques and tools have been used in the past by states and their intelligence agencies. Since 2005, however, the term ‘hybrid warfare’ has become very popular, especially after the asymmetrical warfare strategy effectively used by the Hezbollah in the 2006 Lebanon War.
In the contemporary strategic environment, both state and non-state actors are employing hybrid warfare strategies or tactics to pursue their political objectives. John Mecklin pointed out that the new form of international conflict “can combine Internet-enabled propaganda, a global “dark web” of encrypted communications, cyber-attacks, positive and negative economic pressure, espionage, irregular military action, and other efforts that aim to advance political interests without progressing to full-scale war. Perhaps, its an ‘ambiguous war’ or ‘grey area conflict.’ The revolution in communication technologies and processes of globalization, collectively, proliferates hybrid warfare techniques. Consequently, today, wars are no longer fought on conventional battlefields alone, but also asymmetrically over the digital world, cyberspace, social media, etc. The strategic competitors are making best use of hybrid warfare tools in the exploitation of domestic fault lines like political, economic and societal to destabilize one another.
India has been growing proficiency at using hybrid-warfare capabilities and tactics to pursue its objectives in South Asian region since the end of Cold War. New Delhi typically operates below the threshold of conventional warfare, using a blend of military and paramilitary tools, including proxy forces/militants/separatists, cyber tools, and information operations to shape and coerce states including Pakistan ,Nepal Bangladesh and Sri-Lanka and of course Bhutan to its advantage. Consequently, India succeeded against its small neighbors as like Bhutan most recently on the Doklam standoff between China and Bhutan. Nevertheless, Islamabad has been resisting New Delhi’s endeavors to establish its hegemony in the region through the Hybrid-war. India has been frequently violating the Line of Control and also suffocating the voices of self-determination of innocent Kashmiris in IOK. No ethics within the military domain allow firing on the civilians’ working/moving near the border during the peacetime. The Indian forces intentionally target the civilians to cause a fear in the region. They justify their firing by claiming that they are preventing infiltration of the militants. They intelligently misguide the international media by sharing with them erroneous facts. In addition, it is providing material resources, intellectual and media support to the Baluch dissidents in Baluchistan and radicalized militants groups operating in Pakistan and abroad also. Recently, while speaking in Washington, General Zubair Mahmood Hayat Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee highlighted: “Whole world knew that almost all intelligence agencies are operating in Afghanistan.In that context Indian opposition of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has never been a secret. However, how much India is spending to sabotage the project was not known to many in Pakistan. “India has set aside Rs 55 billion against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).” On a number of occasions, Pakistan provided evidence to US about Indian RAW’s linkages with the TTP and Balochistan sub-nationalists. In 2015, Indian political leadership came under serious criticism from US team over the confessions of Ajit Doval of funding and utilizing TTP terrorists to destabilize Pakistan and Modi was asked to tame Ajit Doval and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). These adversaries are involved in an “indirect sub conventional warfare against us”. In order to counter such threats, the country’s armed forces are committed to undertaking synergetic national efforts.”
The critical examination of Pakistan’s national security policy reveals that both the military and civilian law enforcement agencies are not only aware of the hybrid warfare menace, but have been struggling to prevent the state and society from the nefarious designs of enemies. The armed forces launched operation Zarb-e-Azb in June 2014 to erase the safe hideouts of the terrorist groups located in North Waziristan agency. They also started operation Radd-ul-Fasaad to eliminate the clandestine terrorist sleeper cells across the country in February 2017. The government announced and executed the National Action Plan to combat comprehensively the adversaries’ hybrid warfare onslaught. To conclude, Pakistan is confronting Hybrid Warfare launched by Indian, RAW.Its target is to disrupt the developments of CPEC a regional connectivity and mega economic wellbeing project also by interfering in Baluchistan and Gilgit-Baltistan. Hybrid warfare also aims to target the prosperity of the South Asian region. Government of Pakistan has chalked out a grand strategy and compressive strategy involving the entire nation to combat the current and potential threats of Hybrid warfare. The Indian Hybrid Warfare menace is not against Pakistan it is also against the values, cultures and traditions of the entire South Asian region to overpower their natural resources and potential areas of growth. The Indian rise of Neo- Saffronism is the driving force behind the whole warfare strategy.
Indian Hybrid warfare’s strategy