For Pakistan, defeat is that moment when it can no longer resist India


New Member
Jul 24, 2013
For Pakistan, defeat is that moment when it can no longer resist India - The Times of India

Indrani Bagchi, TNN | Jul 27, 2014, 05.47AM IST

South Asian political and military affairs expert Christine Fair's recent study on the Pakistan Army concludes that Pakistan would not be satisfied even if there was a solution to Kashmir, because for the Pakistan army, the war against India is a 'jihad' or war of civilizations. In India to promote her book, 'Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army's Way of War', Fair tells Indrani Bagchi that she believes Pakistan's North Waziristan terrorist clean-up was just an eye-wash and why the US continues to cut Pakistan cheques

What is the central theme in your book?
I look at a puzzle in the book: Why does Pakistan persist with its revisionism as long as it has? Given that with every subsequent endeavour they become less successful. On top of that, the primary tools they developed to harass India is jihad. Because of a series of events following 911, a large swath of those jihadi groups it nurtured for use on India and Afghanistan have formed the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). So not only is this strategy failing, it's actually imperiling the viability of the state itself.

Why does Pakistan do this?
I've been assembling Pakistani defence publications. I'm not relying on interviews with these people (Pakistan army) because they lie. The people I have interviewed in the ISI never deviate from the script. These texts are really a conversation they have amongst themselves. I derived from this their strategic culture.

You speak about the idea of 'jihad' being central to Pakistan's way of war.
It's surprising just how much jihad and Islam is actually in their publications. If the US army or India were to do this, it would be so controversial. What Pakistan is trying to do is use jihad to mobilize and to boost the morale of their troops so they are on perpetual war footing with India.
It's kind of demoralizing if you think you can't actually win against India. So the use of jihad is a way to make it seem as if everything the Pakistan army does is Islamically justified. For example, they say India started every war. Therefore they describe their response to these wars as defence of jihad.

How do they refer to India?
They always pitch India as a "Hindu"nation. This is critical to them because they are settling up this civilization battle. Every army chief says the two-nation theory is their ideology and the army protects their ideology and geography.

Is there an interest in getting another special envoy for Kashmir in the US administration?
Every US president starts with a renewed interest in Kashmir. Obama did, with the appointment of the special representative, which was supposed to be Afghanistan-Pakistan-India. People like Barnett Rubin and Ahmed Rashid argue for a grand bargain that solves Kashmir. This is all rubbish, I argue.

Pakistan is actually an ideological state. The Kashmir issue is not causal, it's symptomatic. Pakistan is not a security seeking state in which we can satisfy their insecurities. Instead it's an ideological state. I lay out a structure for containing Pakistan, because there is nothing in our toolbox that will reshape it.

Which means even if there is a solution to Kashmir, Pakistan would not be satisfied?
Yes. It's costly for Pakistan to maintain this competition, but they view defeat very differently. They don't view it in terms of territory lost or value of territory or number of lives lost. They view defeat as that moment when they can no longer resist India. They are like an international insurgent.

That's why they keep taking calculated risks, knowing well they are never going to achieve the outcome. The goal is simply to exhibit to India that India cannot exert its will in the neighbourhood. If there were to be any kind of negotiation on Kashmir that gives up any inch of territory, it's not going to fix the situation.

What is your assessment of Pakistan's North Waziristan operation, Zarb-e-azb?
It is Zarb-e-bakwas. We have seen it before. To me it is an awful lot like what happened in 2009 in South Waziristan. They gave months of warning; any terrorist worth his salt has already left either with the internal refugees or - as was the desired effect - into Afghanistan.
What most people don't know is Senator Levin put in a proviso in FY 2015 that says if the Pakistanis don't do an operation in North Waziristan we're not going to give them $300 or $900 million. Now that they are done with this operation, the Pakistanis are making an argument in Washington DC that they should be given continued coalition support.

This is outrageous. They are creating and sustaining an insurgency , then they ask for compensation to protect the border. They're actually asking for money to protect them from their own Frankenstein's monster.

Will America give in?
I think they will. The irony is this: the Americans will help them kill as many terrorists as they will let them. But the Americans won't make them stop producing more terrorists. They (Pakistanis) have taken $30 billion from us, they still kill our troops and we still pay the cheques. Osama bin Laden was in Abbottabad and still the cheques are coming.


Senior Member
Oct 17, 2009
Re: For Pakistan, defeat is that moment when it can no longer resist I

what's happening? An explosion in books and think tank reports that seem to come out with the Ereka fervour .... as if they found something new ... that Pakistan is not a state.. its an anti-state, based on anti-India ideology.. and that kashmir will not solve the issues between the two states.... and that Pakistanis were leading US by the nose... and that the obtuse, clueless Americans were tying themselves up in knots in trying to understand that straightforward Pakistani 'deception' of running with the hare and hunting with the hounds..etc etc.. every single thing India had been pointing out for decades.... where is that proverbial Bodhi that made this enlightenment possible suddenly?

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