Pakistan war-gaming to counter India’s military plan

June 5th, 2011 - 4:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Pervez Musharraf New Delhi, June 5 (IANS) With the Indian Army perfecting a short but power-filled warfare doctrine intended against its western neighbour, Pakistan too is war-gaming a counter-strategy in an exercise on for a fortnight now, a few kilometres from its borders with India’s Rajasthan state.

The Pakistan Army’s Karachi-based V Corps launched the exercise a fortnight ago in the desert terrain between its Sindh and Punjab provinces that abut the Thar desert around Sadiqabad, senior Indian intelligence sources told IANS here.

The war game, described by the Pakistan Army as a collective summer training exercise, will be completed within the next fortnight and is primarily focussed on testing its man and machinery in both defensive and offensive warfare manoeuvres, the sources said.

The corps’ infantry, mechanised infantry and armoured units, along with other battle assets such as their artillery units, were pushed to the limits in searing heat in the Thar desert during the field exercise.

The corps commander, Lt Gen Mohammed Zahir-ul-Islam, too witnessed the manoeuvres of his troops last week, sources added.

The Pakistan Army has conducted a couple of major exercises in the last four years to train its troops to counter an Indian strategy, loosely termed as ‘Cold Start’ doctrine by Indian military think tanks and the media.

Though the Indian Army chief Gen. V.K. Singh has stated that there was no such strategy called ‘Cold Start’, Indian armed forces have over the last seven years since 2004 held over 10 major military exercises in the Rajasthan desert and the Punjab plains.

Based on its experience during the 2001-02 Op Parakram when troops mobilised over months, the Indian Army war games have focussed on validating the army’s latest doctrine of mobilising troops in shortest possible time and for launching an offensive using its mechanised forces and artillery of its strike corps and division-sized formations within its defensive pivot corps.

The Pakistan Army’s V Corps has among its formations a mechanised division with battle tanks and armoured personnel carriers, two infantry divisions, and an independent artillery brigade.

Raised in 1975, the corps, known as the Victory Corps, would be Pakistan’s first line of defence, as it is spread over the Sindh and southern Punjab provinces, along its eastern borders.

This corps had been mobilised by then Pakistan president and army chief Gen. Zia-ul-Haq in 1986-87, when India carried out a major war exercise, Operations Brasstacks, in the Rajasthan desert under then army chief General K Sundarji, viewing the Indian war gaming as a major threat.

It also had a role to place in the coup by then Pakistan army chief Gen. Pervez Musharraf in 1999, soon after the India-Pakistan Kargil conflict, to oust then prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

(N.C. Bipindra can be contacted at

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