Laughter Therapy Serves No Cure: India’s Delusional Response to Pakistan’s Tectonic Leap in Missile Technology

anika sheikh

Formulated in the early 17th century and most fondly played up until now, Bluff is a game of acute deception. Proclaiming an upper hand, boasting thy credentials and starring through the adversary’s soul are tactics and skills which a Bluffer employees to psychologically obliterate his foe and provoke him into making the bellicose move. The adversary or“Gazer” as he may be referred to, minutely observes gestures, expressions and gesticulations manifested by the Bluffers, in a shrewd attempt to understand and assess his capacity and ability to maneuver. The game lingers on and the statuesque remains intact, up until the point when one player decides to close with and confront the other on his “Claim.” This move “Show” as they call it, decisively turns the table on either the “Bluffer” or the “Gazer” and it is this detrimental and conclusively resultant nature which both signifies this move and adds to its credentials. Players throughout the past centuries have always kept this move in high esteem, only and solely to be employed when all ifs and buts stand answered and no doubt lingers whatsoever with respect to the ingenuity of the adversary’s claim.

In Bluff It Is Not Merely The Strength Of The Foe Which Demands Respect It Is Also The Very Notion Of It Which Does.

Bluff in the contemporary linguistics is no more a nomenclature associated with a set of boring cards, Bluff is a craft, rather art which is employed and applied in almost every major walk of modern life. Be it corporate manipulations, be it astute diplomacy or be it the vicious blazes of war, the idol of bluff stands tall at every other square of cosmos. It is this phenomenon which has not only made critical decision making much more onerousat the highest levels of administrative state-craft but has also intensified the realms of restraint. In the obsolete days of card-playing a wrong call of “Show” could at most cost a player the game and the gamble involved with it but given the viscosity of affairs in the Post-Manhattan world a Wrong Call can come too high a cost for any perpetual player be it an industry, a corporation or a major nation state. Late President Saddam’s ludicrous calling of the American Bluff in Qatar War led to Operation Desert Storm. Saddam Hussain, The Ba’ath Party, and the Iraqi Armed Forces suffered colossal and irrevocable damages owing to the fact that America Wasn’t Bluffing. This incident alone speaks volumes about the inevitability of precaution when it comes to assessing the adversary’s “Claim.”

The phenomenon of the bluff has been at play at the politico-diplomatic horizon of South-Asia right from the beginning of the post-partition era. Any keen student of this “Interesting Region (Chinese Phrase)”knows how both the principal arch-rivals of this area have been waging a mammoth psychological war for over the last 70 odd years. India & Pakistan have both played Bluff with eyeballs locked and their hands lying on perilous draggers as the world watched in horror. History stands testimonial to the fact that in this battle of the nerves India has many-a-times run short of the requisite temperament and blinked first when it amounted to “A Call.” All of us know, by means of publically available / declassified data that in 1999 when India dared to venture into the zone of Nuclear Testing it had acute contempt for the notion that Pakistan has the capacity to reciprocate its provocation by an equivalent & befitting response. Ajai K. Rai in “India’s Nuclear Diplomacy After Pokhran II” reveals that there existed a certain unanimity, with the exception of one or two, in India’s defence & political establishment that Pakistan does not possess the capacity to test a nuclear device and that it’s muscle-flexing and gestures are a mere Bluff. Sadly for India and for the peace-nicks across the globe, this perception was erroneously void of any merit. Pakistan within days of Pokhran-II undertook Chaghi-I and the new factor of nuclear parity was introduced in the strategic climate of South-Asia. India despite having a proportionally large and well-supplied military lost its conventional edge due to its own lunacy. Just as in Desert Strom Saddam came to realize America’s strength post-call, in Chaghi India came to comprehend with all her amazement what its ages old rival had actually achieved. The statements of Indian policy-makers pre and post-Chaghi are a reflection of the shock–wave which ran across the hearts and minds of a wishful nation. For many days India expressed doubts regarding the authenticity of Pakistani claims but gradually the mourning did set in where it was due.

As Sputnik recently put it Pakistan and India are currently competing for a race of ballistic supremacy in South-Asia. Both the nation states are on a spree of missiles testing that continues unabated and has no foreseeable end. It seems like India’s resolve to pose herself as a hegemon and Pakistan’s decision to confront her, sea basedby cutting her (India) to her size, has triggered the latest saga off. While the world watches with concern and players of international significance express their displeasure and call for restraint, India prima-facie has decided to walk along a destructive path, the path of delusion. While celebrating with uttermost joy its own half-baked missiles, many of which routinely fail to achieve the desired objectives India’s propaganda machine has decided to flout claims made by Pakistan and thus knit a self-wrapping web of delusion which makes it adapt the ostrich strategy of denial.

Pakistan successfully tesea-based variant of its cruise missile namely Babur-3 on the 09th day of January 2017. The test which was undertaken by a submarine based launcher in the Arabian Sea successfully produced the desired results as per the prism of design and development. The successful testing of Babur-3 had a monumental significance especially with regard to the fact that it introduced in South-Asian Nuclear-Realpolitik the factor of the credible second strike. Pakistan had long been hearkening for this ability and its efforts to achieve it were neither hidden from international observers, who extensively wrote about it, nor from the monitoring agencies who formally expressed the fear of escalation. Given this background, India’s reaction to such a test should have been composed, articulate, subtle and befitting but instead what came about was a hilarious comedy of errors. A certain self-proclaimed satellite imagery expert on twitter with the handle @rajfortysevenclaimed that by the mere power of naked-eye, he has managed to visually decrypt the fact that Pakistan has conducted a pseudo-test of the said cruise missile. The revelation was neither supplemented by any numerical data nor was it scientifically argued, to add to the flavor of this exposé absolutely no personal or academic credentials of this so-called Expert were either available on twitter or anywhere else. The account which has a bleak following of over 3 Thousand even does not have a full-name or a picture to associate with. The mega-investigator @rajfortyseven is thus a Twitter account with no more merits that that of @TomAndJerry007 or @Hulk, accounts such as these are normally administered by high school punks or designated propaganda cells, the babbling that occurs at them neither deserves an ear nor a spared moment. However, in disregard of any press ethics and without the fear of damaging their own journalistic credibility, all Indian newspapers deemed it fit to propagate the “Startling Exposure” that had taken place. @rajfortyseven featured on the front page of mainstream Indian Press and still without any credentials. By stories titled “Twitter Laughs Off Pakistani Claims,un-veiled” Indian media made itself a laughing stock for the entire world.

The opera of glaring ignorance didn’t stop right there, on the 24th day of January 2017 Pakistan tested the much awaited “Ababeel Missile”. Awaited as we call it because ever since India tested the “ASHWIN” Advanced Air & Ballistic Missile Defence Mechanism, several notable and reputed observers expressed their apprehension that Pakistan will sooner rather than later restore the strategic balance by fielding a Multiple War-Head Missile. A Voice of America Report dated May the 19th 2016 and Titled “False Sense of Security” had cautioned India that given geographical parameters and restraints of South-Asia no missile defence system in India can credibly lay-off the Pakistani ballistic-threat, the report went on to say that India’s experimentation in this regard and her blatantly unveiled ambitions will provoke Pakistan into improvising with the existent arsenal of nuclear weapons delivery systems. So in lieu with what was apparent, Pakistan tested its nascent version of “Ababeel” which employed Multi Independent Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology, thereby Pakistan demonstrated its capacity to defeat the very Fundamental Doctrine of Indian Missile Defence and ensured the survivability of its indigenous missiles program thus restoring the faulting realms of strategic balance via Nuclear Deterrence. Indian defence and military establishment rather than comprehending the newly emerged reality and strategically complying thereof by devising new policies decided to run another smear campaign, the head, and tail of which seem to be interlocked. An arbitrary piece origins of which are unknown and whose author is anonymous appeared on a website (Indian Defence News) closely related to the Indian military. The piece titled “IDN TAKE: PAKISTAN SAYS IT TESTED MIRV TECHNOLOGY, INDIA LAUGHS” is a cluster of hilarious and absurd jokes.

The anonymous author who seems to be void of both technical and academic knowledge has tried to draw analogy out of thin air. Given herein under is an account of the major objections the anonymous author has leveled in his piece and the absurdity that resides therein:

  1. The author by having a bird’s eye view of the Missile’s imagery has concluded that Pakistan has in-fact fielded Shaheen-II ballistic missile and reclaimed it as Ababeel, the author further supplements the claim by critically examining the range of Ababeel and finding it to be in close proximity of Shaheen-II.

    ■The author fails to recollect that similar Indian publications also raised doubts on the accuracy and viability of Shaheen-II when it was first tested in 2004, now to call Ababeel a duplication of Shaheen-II is not only hilarious but preposterous, to say the least. The author further does not offer any explanation as to the reason why Pakistan could not have doctored the perpetual range of the subject missile in its claim, if the test indeed would have been non-existent.
  1. The author expresses fascination over how China could transfer such a crucial and paramount technology to Pakistan despite her longstanding relationship with her.

    ■The author is infected with the thought that Pakistan is unable to develop missile technology on its own; this figment of thought stands in sharp contrast to the established facts which ascertain that Pakistan’s nuclear and missile technology is indigenous and self-reliable. The author further ignores the fact that recently declassified CIA documents establish the attribute that China and Pakistan have an extremely deep-rooted strategic relationship which transgresses the boundaries of conventional cooperation.
  1. The author argues that MIRV would require much smaller nuclear warheads which can be mounted for multiple-dispersion.

■Pakistan’s development of small low-yield nuclear weapons is a fact which is both established and well acknowledged across the globe, the author’s poor knowledge in this regard is a reflection of his limited or nonexistent exposure.

  1. The author hilariously argues that the range of an MIRV should be longer than what Ababeel has claimed.

■The objection is obtuse and reflective of an ignorant mind which does not know or understand strategic aspects. Pakistan’s Missiles set their range in accordance with the very clearly defined Prospective Target that is India. Pakistan’s increase in the range of its missile would only be detrimental to its own interests as it would invoke fear in the minds of its apparent allies. Ababeel’s Range in well within Pakistan’s defined doctrine of defence and is rationally coherent. Furthermore, the mechanics of MIRV have no proportional relationship with the dynamics of range; Jericho-3 (Israel’sMIRV) is a glittering example.

  1. The author expresses amazement to the fact that Pakistan unlike never reports the failure of any of its missiles. The author thus inferences that Pakistan’s test might have failed but an adverse claim has been lodged.

■The objection more or less seems to remorse on India’s domestic missile industry which is infected by the parasite of corruption and is thus rendered significantly disabled. Pakistan has complete tele-metric data of its successful missile tests and the same are monitored by the observatory mechanics of CENTCOM. The quality of Pakistan’s missiles is well-acknowledged and regarded across the globe and the same cannot be daunted by the failure of its neighbor.

In view of the foregoing one is drawn to the conclusion that the article titled “IDN TAKE: PAKISTAN SAYS IT TESTED MIRV TECHNOLOGY, INDIA LAUGHS” is nothing but a sadist piece of lit-erotica. The anonymous author who seems to be part and partial of the Indian propaganda machinery has merely tried in vain to brush-off the baggage of continuous failure that have piled up the back of the Indian military. The exercise seems to be a quintessential assignment which aims to create a delusional spell around the Indian populous and the privileged elite. It seems that a Narcotic-Analgesic is being self-injection into the nervous system of theIndian Security Prism whereby it would be easier for the establishment to adapt an ostrich policy and remain indifferent to the developing equation.

Without prejudice to the equity of diplomacy, one must advice India to walk on the path of realism rather than delusion. Pakistan’s strategic capacity to obliterate India remains intact and internationally visible. It shall remain unaffected from the Indian propaganda and will not falter by the appreciation of India or vice-versa. India must not consider Pakistan’s upper hand a bluff and should neither call her a Show. Any such bellicose move might drive the gamble out of her hand and into the Pakistan ambit.

In A Quintessential Fashion Right When India’s Aiming To Blink, Pakistan Is Not Bluffing.

The writer Anika Sheikh is an associate at Amir Mirza Law Firm & a Post Graduate student of Peace & Conflict Studies at The National University Of Sciences & Technology Islamabad. In her pass time she bakes confectioneries, reads page 3 & blogs about socio-political issues. She can be reached @sheikh_anika.

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Lahore Times.

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