Modi government’s modernisation programme of Indian military has made Pakistan’s military establishment deeply concerned, and “frustrated” that no “deal” had been struck with India since the NDA came to power.
According to Brigadier Ben Barry (retd), an expert on land warfare at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), Pakistan is concerned about India’s military capabilities.
He said there was an optimism when PM Modi came to power, of engaging Pakistan and striking a deal in terms of normalisation of relations, reduction of tension over security.
However, he said that Islamabad is frustrated that they have not able to struck a deal on that. He also pointed out that Pakistani military is very concerned about India’s conventional military modernisation.
Barry, a former brigadier in the British army, said the concern was not about what Modi government had done, but with India acquiring advanced weapons systems like Apache helicopters, C-130 Hercules aircraft and T-90 tanks.
The India-US nuclear deal too remained a matter of concern in Islamabad.
“Pakistan’s conventional forces will give a good account of themselves (in the event of a war with India), but feel numerically inferior,” he said.
However, he said the Pakistan Army was battle-hardened after extended operations against armed opponents within its country.
“We should take confidence that there hasn’t been a repetition of the terrible massacre in Mumbai. I may be proved wrong, though, but given the state of various extremist groups in Pakistan, it is very, very difficult for the Pakistani government to withdraw all of them. They may have had a hand in generating some of these and setting them up, but it’s quite difficult to turn them off,” he said.
According to Barry, Pakistan Army’s capability in neutralising and destroying Islamist terrorist groups and their capabilities has considerably increased.
The “Military Balance 2016” report talks about various steps taken by the Modi government to encourage FDI and private sector participation in defence, and lists the personnel and assets of India’s armed forces and reserve forces.
“The Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ policy aims to strengthen the indigenous defence-industrial base through measures that include reforming India’s foreign direct investment cap. However, industrial-capability limitations and bureaucratic obstacles have hampered a number of promising initiatives,” it said.
PM Modi launched his government’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ initiative on September 25 last year aimed at making India a global manufacturing hub. It was also rolled out with the aim of creating millions of jobs in the country. Under the programme the government otok several measures to improve the business environment by easing processes to do business in the country, and attract foreign investments.
The report also found that the West’s long-held superiority in military technology is withering away as defense spending in Asia soars and states across the globe gain increasing access to advanced weaponry.
The IISS found that cruise missiles, unmanned drones and technology used for the purpose of electronic warfare are no longer accessible merely to Western states, but have also become available to governments worldwide. The report said the number of states known to operate unmanned drones had doubled since 2011, with China exporting them to allied states such as Iraq and Nigeria.
The report also mentioned that while the growth in military spending is slowing down in the volatile Middle East and Latin America, thanks to plunging oil prices, Russia and China were responsible for over one third of last year’s spending increases.