There is a very possible case of nuclear attack scenario on India discussed on Bharat Rakshak. What should India's response should be ? 1) Approximately July 2013, most American troops have been withdrawn from AfPak. A Pakistan-brokered, Washington-blessed "coalition" government is in Kabul, with various Taliban leaders exercising real power and Karzai (if at all present) relegated to a figurehead status. The Tajiks and other Northern Groups have begun a desperate war of secession in the North of Afghanistan, but this is irrelevant to our scenario. Meanwhile the TTP and other groups are using the period to rebuild their capabilities and relative peace reigns in FATA for the time being. 2) Up to this point, let us assume GOI's policy towards Pakistan has remained the same, and Pakistan's attitude to the GOI has remained the same, as it is today for the most part. Pakistan keeps insisting that India discuss Kashmir and Water. India keeps agreeing to talks, but insists that the terrorism issue must be resolved first. Meanwhile Hafeez Sayeed and others on India's wanted list are roaming around free and conducting their activities. For the purpose of this scenario I am not going to assume that things get any better or worse, compared to 2010, for India up to July 2013. 3) September 2013, the ISPR makes a media statement that shakes the world. Five of Pakistan's crown jewels have gone missing. It is hinted that agents of the Taliban may be responsible. The world media goes into a frenzy of fear. (NOTE that Pakistan could not do this today, or at any time when the American military is in AfPak in strength. If they made such a statement today, within hours the 82nd Airborne would take possession of *all* known nuclear installations in Pakistan, and US Special Forces would be kicking ass and taking names from Chitral to Gwadar, on a concerted one-point mission to get to the bottom of the missing nukes. When American forces are no longer present on Pakistan's borders and off Pakistan's coast in large numbers, the ISI will have a lot more wiggle room to get away with such tricks. It takes great effort to overcome operational inertia, and considerable time to redeploy US armed forces for a de-novo invasion of Pakistan.) 4) Islamabad comes under severe pressure of all kinds to find and retrieve the nukes. They ask for aid, demanding items useful to a nuke search (F-22s, warships, AMRAAMs, M1A1s, magnifying glasses and money.) Washington may acquiesce or refuse...but in the short term, at least, the West has no option but to watch what happens while putting homeland security and intelligence assets on round-the-clock alert. 5) The world media watches with bated breath. Two weeks later, tears of relief are cried on the airwaves... the ISI, America's Ally, has found one of the missing nukes through its operatives in FATA! Praise and aid are heaped upon Pakistan as a saviour of the world. 6) Two weeks after this, more news reports emerge that two more of the missing nukes have been retrieved by the ISI! Pakistan is praised to the skies. No country has ever been such a reliable ally of the West, such a tenacious sentinel against "Al Qaeda" terrorism. 7) One week later, a JDAM goes off in an Indian city... Mumbai, perhaps, or Bengalooru. With devastating consequences for the Indian economy. The Pakistanis express heartfelt sympathy to India while denying that the blast indicated a bomb of Pakistani design. They also caution India against taking "ill-advised steps" and put their nuclear delivery systems on high alert. 8 ) The same or next day, Ilyas Kashmiri issues a statement from somewhere he declares is "Taliban-protected territory." He says 313 Brigade has possession of not one more, but in fact fifty more nuclear weapons. They will be detonated in Indian cities one by one until India gives up Kashmir. 9) Following this, Taliban ministers in Kabul deny any connection to Ilyas Kashmiri or the JDAM. Question: What are the GOI's options at this point? A) Nuke Pakistan in retaliation, and escalate to an all-out nuclear war in which far more than Mumbai or Bengalooru are destroyed? B ) Take Ilyas Kashmiri at his word that 313 brigade carried out the attack with Taliban aid/protection, and nuke Kabul or elsewhere in Afghanistan? C) Take military action against Pakistan below the nuclear threshold, while the West screams at us to cease and desist because Pakistan is their heroic ally and their best hope of securing any missing nukes? Any military action could easily be escalated by Pakistan to nuclear conflict, so this runs the same risks as "A". D) Give up Kashmir? You know there will be lots of pressure from various quarters within and outside India to do this, or at least talk about it with Pakistan. E) Nuke all of Pakistan and all of Afghanistan and lose more of our cities to Pakistani nukes in turn? F) Not retaliate, and live with the loss of Mumbai and potential loss of other cities, while we wait for Pakhtun nationalism to eventually consume NW Pakistan? G) Other? Does this explain how the combination of US withdrawal from AfPak, and elevation of Taliban to governance in Afghanistan, makes the situation MORE dangerous for India than it is today? Essentially it affords Pakistan an additional degree of plausible deniability. That's what we saw during the IC814 hijacking. Today, Pakistan doesn't NEED such a second degree of plausible deniability to carry on with its current level of terrorism against India. They simply use the first degree of plausible deniability and claim "we are also a victim of terrorism" even after Delhi, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Mumbai and all the other atrocities they have perpetrated over the past decade. Our GOI, by talking to Pakistan regardless of this...converts Pakistan's plausible deniability into credible deniability. But I won't go further into that subject in this post. However, even though they have got away scot-free with perpetrating Mumbai, even the Pakis may not have the [email protected] Withdrawal of the US from AfPak gives the Pakis a new level of operational freedom, and the return of the Taliban to Kabul gives the Pakis a second degree of deniability which they could potentially use to engage in real nuclear terrorism against India.