Indian Military could launch a war against Pakistan in 2020, warns American Analyst

Indian Military could launch a war against Pakistan in 2020, warns American Analyst

ISLAMABAD - Indian Military could launch a war against Pakistan in 2020, warns American Analyst Micheal Kugelman.

About an article he wrote in December last year in which he expressed fears that there was a potential of Pakistan-India war in 2020, Kugelman said, “He did not suggest there will be a war but there is a good chance of a war”.

Explaining the reason, he said the relationship between Pakistan and India is even worse now than it was when Pulwama and Balakot happened.

The repeal of Article 370 is such a game changer for this relationship in so many ways, he said, adding that it ratcheted up tensions in a big way. “Let’s say there is another triggering act; whether there is a provocation in Pulwama or something else; it would mean that it would be very hard to deescalate a crisis,” he feared.

Kugelman said the United States and other international players tried to help defuse the crisis last time but it would be a lot harder to do that this time around. “What I also worry about is that ‘India could be the provocateur this time around’,” he added.

“There has been a lot a rhetoric coming from very senior officials in India that at one point they are going to reclaim POK, as they put it.” Kugelman said he has heard this before but the intensity of the rhetoric is a lot more frequent than he is used to.

Last month, new Indian army chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane threatened that his force would take control of Azad Kashmir if the Indian government gave such an order. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said earlier this month that India could make Pakistan “bite the dust” in less than 10 days – a claim laughed off by the Pakistani leadership.

While their leaders are stepping up their war rhetoric, Indian troops are heating up the de facto border with Pakistan by frequently violating a 2003 truce between the two countries.

Asked if he think India is serious to trigger a war, Kugelman said: “I can’t say for sure but I think given how the Indian government has proceeded and followed up on a lot of threats that it hadn’t carried out before; whether you are talking about Article 370 repeal, the new citizenship law or building the Ram Temple; I would not be surprised.”

Kugelman’s views strengthen Pakistan’s warnings that India might stage a false-flag operation to use it as pretext for war with Pakistan. Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly warned the international community that Modi, an RSS ideologue, was a threat to not only regional but global peace.

Some analysts believe that the Modi-led India would wait until it receives Rafale fighter jets from France and installs the Russian-made S-400 Defence System as, at the moment, its ageing air fleet can’t compete with Pakistan’s warplanes.