In a non-military pre-emptive air strike, Indian Air Force’s fighter jets Mirage 2000 destroyed the biggest terror training camp deep inside Pakistan. The Indian warplanes bombed three places, including the Jaish-e-Mohammed’s nerve centre where the terror group used to train suicide bombers. India targeted the terror camps after JeM terrorists killed 40 CRPF jawans in a suicide attack in Pulwama two weeks ago. (Also read: Border Districts of Punjab, Gujarat on High Alert)

This the first time a nuclear state sent its warplanes to another nuclear state successfully hitting the target, leaving its neighbour in tatters. However, Pakistan issued a veiled threat hours after the air strike that killed over 300 terrorists, asking India to be ready for a surprise. Posturing apart, can Pakistan afford a full-scale war against India? Here are five reasons why it can’t:

  1. Pakistan fought against India in 1948, 1965, 1971 and 1999 and got defeated on all the occasions. They might not engage in a war only to be defeated again.
  2. While both the countries have nuclear capabilities,  India has a far bigger arsenal than Pakistan. Last week, Pakistan’s former army chief and president Pervez Musharraf admitted that if Pakistan hit India with one nuclear bomb, India could retaliate with 20 such bombs.  The former army chief, who became the president via a coup, knows it better how superior India’s defence is than that of its neighbour.
  3. India has better diplomatic ties with the world powers and Pakistan is considered a rogue state having safe heavens for the terrorists.  They can’t match India’s diplomatic offensive and will be isolated in the event of a war.
  4. While Indian armed forces have 1.4 million active personnel, Pakistan has approximately 6,17,000 armed forces personnel.
  5. India is a successful democracy with a mechanism of electing decisive political leadership at regular intervals while Pakistan has failed in its tryst with democracy with intermittent military coups. Through a democratic process, India can build consensus against any external aggression. Pakistan is a failed state with various power-centres and non-state actors, leading to confusion.

Pakistan can’t afford a war owing to its bad economic situation while India, with its gigantic economy, can sustain and win a war against Pakistan.

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