Just a couple of days after Pakistan’s army brought radical change in its military doctrine by replacing its enemy number one - India - with the terrorists along Afghan border and inside the country, an attack by the Indian army on a Pakistani military post in Islamabad-controlled Kashmir left one soldier killed and another wounded.
Both the armies have been engaged in such skirmishes on the control line dividing the Muslim majority disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir between the two countries over the last couple of years despite having a ceasefire agreement. However, regardless of continuous hostilities in Kashmir and fighting four wars against India, the Pakistani army subjected its 66-year-old military doctrine to drastic changes, shifting the focus of its security operations away from eastern borders with India to the western borders with Afghanistan and the internal threats of terrorism.
The new military doctrine has been declared by incorporating a new chapter titled ‘sub-conventional warfare’ in the Pakistani army’s ‘Green Book’ which spells out operational preparedness, capacities and objectives of the armed forces. According to the new doctrine, the guerrilla actions from the tribal areas along Afghan border and bomb attacks on armed forces and civilians by certain groups have been identified as the “biggest threat” to national security.
According to the known history of contemporary armies, such a radical change in military doctrine is found only in Turkey during Kamal Ataturk era when Turkish army shifted its guns from European enemies and turned towards Muslim fundamentalists inside the country who resisted secularization of the society.
The “change of heart” among Pakistan army is brought about by the U.S. and NATO allies who had finally succeeded in convincing Islamabad that the biggest danger facing country is not from India but the terrorists resisting its post 9-11 policy of joining the U.S.-led coalition engaged in a 12-year war against terror in Afghanistan. Washington has been urging Islamabad not to give up its military preparedness against India, and instead focus its defense strategies against eliminating the threat of terrorism completely.
The timing of the new military doctrine is also vital since it has been announced as U.S.-led coalition forces were about to leave from Afghanistan and forced to holding talks with TalibanMansoor Jafar
It is under the same perspective that Islamabad gradually moved towards promoting friendly, trade and cultural relations with India, and awarding New Delhi the MFN (most favored nation) status, ignoring strong protests inside the country by Islamists and moderate political groups. The opponents of friendship with India had warned against the dual policy of U.S.-led coalition which had allowed India a stronghold in Afghanistan by engaging in training of Afghan army and launching joint strategic projects which posed open threats to the interests and security concerns of Pakistan. On many occasions, Islamabad expressed strong concerns over 24 Indian consulates established in cities and towns along 2200 kilometer Pakistan-Afghan border, alleging they were engaged in providing training and arms to anti-Pakistan elements that were carrying out terrorism in Pakistani territories.
Several top security officials admitted in the past that Islamabad was in possession of concrete proofs of involvement of foreign elements, especially from neighboring countries, in the subversion and other acts of terrorism specially aiding the separatist elements in eastern province of Baluchistan; blasts and massacres in other parts of country like Karachi, terrorism-hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and Punjab. But strangely, no logical action was taken in regard to those proofs. Pakistani territories remained a battle-ground of proxy wars due to the presence of large number of foreign agents.