India’s arms mostly target Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: India and China have never been serious military rivals. Never in history, other than the minor Sino-Indian Border Conflict of 1962, has India fought a sustained war with China. The probability of a future war between India and China is minimal. And that is so because the Great Himalayas run through the entire 3,380 km of the India-China border.
According to a report by Stratfor, the Texas-based private intelligence agency, “China has been seen as a threat to India, and simplistic models show them to be potential rivals. In fact, however, China and India might as well be on different planets. Their entire frontier runs through the highest elevations of the Himalayas. It would be impossible for a substantial army to fight its way through the few passes that exist, and it would be utterly impossible for either country to sustain an army there in the long term. The two countries are irrevocably walled off from each other. Ideally, New Delhi wants to see a Pakistan that is fragmented, or at least able to be controlled. Toward this end, it will work with any power that has a common interest and has no interest in invading India.”
On March 16, Pranab Mukherjee, India’s Finance Minister, jacked up India’s defence budget by a wholesome 17 percent-one of the sharpest ever jump over the past 65 years. The defence allocation now stands at a colossal $38.6 billion up an alarming 350 percent in rupee terms since 1999.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is upgrading its entire fleet of 51 Mirage 2000s. IAF has already assigned the nuclear strike role to its ‘Vajra’ fighter jets and now the fleet is getting “new RDY-3 radars with greater air-air and air-ground capability, a new night vision compatible all-digital cockpit and improved electronic warfare systems.” Then there is a hefty $20 billion in the new budget for 126 Rafale twinjet combat aircraft for “high-accuracy strikes and nuclear strike deterrence.” There also is $4 billion for an artillery modernization programme that includes 145 ultra-light howitzers for India’s mountain divisions stationed opposite Pakistani borders.
India has six neighbours-Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Nepal and China. Pakistan’s defence spending stands at $5.16 billion, Bangladesh $1.137 billion, Nepal $100 million and Burma $30 million. Collectively, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma and Nepal spend $6.5 billion a year on defence. India just by itself now spends a colossal $38.6 billion on defence. Who is India going to fight with?
Bharatiya Sthalsena (the Indian Army) already has 3,773,000 troops plus 1,089,700 paramilitary forces and is second only to China in size. IAF already has 1,700 aircraft and is the world’s 4th largest. The Indian Navy already operates some 13-dozen vessels with INS Viraat as its flagship, the only “full-deck aircraft carrier operated by a country in Asia or the Western Pacific, along with operational jet fighters.”
On the ground, Bharatiya Sthalsena has a total of 13 corps of which 6 are strike corps. Of the 13 corps more than half have their guns pointed at Pakistan. The 3rd Armoured Division, 2nd Armoured Brigade, 4 RAPID, Jaisalmer AFS, Utarlai AFS and Bhuj AFS are all aiming at splitting Pakistan into two (by capturing the Kashmore/Guddu Barrage-Reti-Rahimyar Khan triangle).
For the record, the 2011 Global Hunger Index (GHI) Report ranked India 45th amongst leading countries with hunger situation. According to the United Nations Development Programme 37.2 percent of Indians live below the national poverty line. Amazingly, poverty is so deep-rooted that India alone has 33 percent of world’s poor.