February 28, 2019

Balakot Strike and its Aftermath



The following article originally appeared in The Times of India on 28 February, 2019.  

There is a long history of de-escalatory efforts following India-Pak crises

On the early morning of February 26, Indian Air Force jets entered Pakistani air space, where they struck a Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) training camp at Balakot. The next day, it appears that Pakistan attempted retaliatory strikes against Indian military facilities. In an engagement with Indian MiG-21s, an Indian aircraft was shot down, landing on the Pakistani side of the line of control. The pilot, reported to be Wing Commander Abhinandan, survived and is in Pakistani custody.

A second aircraft was also downed on the Pakistani side of the LoC. India has said that it successfully took down a Pakistani aircraft, while Pakistan naturally claims that a second Indian aircraft was downed. Separately, an Indian Mi-17 helicopter crashed in Jammu & Kashmir in what is believed to be an accident, with further casualties.

Although a lot of these facts remain to be verified, questions will now be raised about how and why events unfolded as they did.

It is important to assess the significance of the Balakot strike, conducted in response to the February 14 terrorist attack by JeM at Pulwama. Indian aircraft certainly entered Pakistani air space and managed to return unscathed. This, also accepted in Pakistan’s version of events, is itself something of an embarrassment for the Pakistan military, and may have necessitated some form of retaliation as a face-saving gesture.

Additionally, India has framed its strike on Balakot as a pre-emptive action: proportional, motivated by intelligence about further terrorist attacks on India, and designed to minimise civilian casualties. Supportive statements in the immediate aftermath suggest that India’s rationale for its strike has been accepted by certain other countries.

Moreover, the significance of the target needs to be assessed. Balakot is one of the earliest JeM training facilities developed after the release from Indian custody of its leader Masood Azhar in 1999. In its early years, it was used for planning and training for suicide bombings, including against religious minorities in Pakistan, across the LoC against India, and against US targets in Afghanistan.

Although devastated in the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, the JeM facility was rebuilt. In recent years it became a venue for lectures by Azhar, his family members, and close associates, and continued to play host for training efforts. And it was part of a general revival of JeM’s fortunes following increased recruitment efforts and a partial crackdown on Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Pakistan’s response should also be seen in context. The shift in narrative over the first 24 hours after Balakot is somewhat reminiscent of that after the 2011 US raid against Abbottabad in which Osama bin Laden was killed. In that instance, the army initially claimed that it was a party to the US operation before it made it a matter of US violations of Pakistani sovereignty (avoiding questions about how and why bin Laden was in Abbottabad).

Now, after claiming that Indian aircraft were chased out of Pakistani air space and inflicted no damage on Balakot, it is asserting a retaliation in self-defence. It is worth asking what – beyond an air space violation – Pakistan is retaliating for if, as it claims, no significant damage was inflicted by India.

The Indian air strike and Pakistan’s retaliatory actions will undoubtedly be seen as part of a dangerous escalation between two nuclear-armed countries. Greater escalation is certainly possible, including in the event of further Pakistani reprisals or depending on the fate of the captured Indian pilot. His mistreatment in custody would undoubtedly increase Indian public hostility.

But unwarranted alarmism is also unnecessary, at least for now. India and Pakistan have tested each others’ militaries in the past, including after the nuclear tests of 1998, the Kargil war of 1999, Operation Parakram in 2002, and the ‘surgical strikes’ of 2016. On both sides, addressing domestic expectations are paramount, especially in the backdrop of the forthcoming Indian general election.

But there has also been a long history of de-escalatory efforts following crises between the two countries, and today there are more channels for diminishing tensions. It is possible, as has been the case in the past, that both sides will find in their recent actions enough to claim a successful defence of their countries. In that case, the facts of the matter, which will be made clear in time, will speak for themselves.

February 27, 2019

A Strategic Moment


The following article originally appeared in DailyO on February 27, 2019.

Why the Balakot strike is so significant.

We will not have the full picture of what transpired between India and Pakistan on the morning of February 26 for some time. However, based on official statements from the two countries, and initial reporting, a few takeaways can be gleaned with some certainty within the first 24 hours.

Under the cover of darkness, Indian Air Force (IAF) jets entered Pakistani air space — where they struck a terrorist training camp at Balakot in the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. We may never know the full extent of the damage, and any reporting on casualties is for now no more than guesswork. Pakistan admits that the IAF entered its air space and dropped a ‘payload’ in Balakot, but apparently inflicted no damage. Given that similar denials initially followed the US raid in Abbottabad, in which Osama bin Laden was killed, and the 2016 ‘surgical strikes’ by India across the Line of Control (LoC), Pakistan’s face-saving claims should be taken with a considerable degree of scepticism.

How is this strike significant? First, India has shown its willingness to rewrite the rules of engagement. For many years, New Delhi was effectively limited by the constraints dictated by Pakistan. These included no reprisals against Pakistan outside Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, even though Pakistan-sponsored terrorists had no hesitation in attacking targets in Punjab, Delhi, Mumbai and elsewhere in India. Another aspect was that India had contemplated and effectively ruled out air strikes in the 1980s and again in the 2000s. Such a measure, it was believed, would cause too much collateral damage, risk Indian casualties and increase the prospect of escalation, including potentially to the nuclear level. The latest air strike tests this proposition.

Second, India’s official statement delivered by foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale argued that the air strikes were pre-emptive, based on intelligence about Jaish-e-Mohammed’s (JeM) preparations for future attacks. As self-defence against an imminent attack, India’s strikes were also proportional, limited and designed to inflict minimal collateral damage, such as civilian casualties. This line of reasoning both strengthens India’s case in the eyes of the international community and coupled with Pakistani denials helps to mitigate the prospect of Pakistani reprisals.

Third, the target, a JeM training camp in Balakot, is significant. This was one of the earliest training camps established by JeM after Masood Azhar’s release from Indian custody in 1999, and was built up over 2000 and 2001. In its early years, it was a centre for planning, equipping and training suicide bombers used against Pakistani and foreign targets. These included terrorists responsible for attacks against religious minorities in Pakistan, US targets in Afghanistan and infiltrations across the LoC. In 2005, the camp was damaged by the massive earthquake in Kashmir, and was subsequently rebuilt. Over the years, it was a regular site of speeches and lectures by Maulana Masood Azhar, his relatives and other associates. Gokhale said the camp was being run by Yousuf Azhar, Masood Azhar’s brother-in-law. There had been a noticeable uptick in activity at Balakot in recent years as part of JeM’s revival. This revival was a consequence of increased JeM recruitment efforts after 2014 — and limitations on Lashkar-e-Taiba’s activities. Given the number of terrorists in custody who had passed through the training facility at Balakot, it is probable that not just India, but also the United States and Saudi Arabia, among others, had detailed intelligence inputs about the training facility, its layout and activities.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions — and some may never be fully answered. The repercussions are also impossible to predict, but will depend in part on how the strikes are perceived in Pakistan. After the Abbottabad raid in which Osama bin Laden was killed, the public narrative in Pakistan did an abrupt about-turn within 48 hours. The Pakistan army went from claiming it had been informed about the attack to lambasting the US for violation of its sovereignty (while conveniently side-stepping questions about how bin Laden ended up there). There are already signs that we may see something similar, which will increase pressure on the Pakistan army to escalate.

Alternatively, we could still see events stage-managed so that India will have achieved a degree of retribution for Pulwama, Pakistan will claim a response, and the needle will continue to slowly shift in India’s favour on Pakistan-based terrorism in the eyes of the international community.



February 24, 2019

Security Alert: Pakistan's Playbook against India Has Started to Unwind


The following article originally appeared in the Economic Times magazine on February 24, 2018. 

On Friday, the UN Security Council (UNSC) issued a strong statement on the suicide bombing in Pulwama, which identified Jaish-e-Mohammed as the party claiming responsibility, described the act as unjustified terrorism and reminded states of their obligations under international law to combat terrorism and cooperate with India. The statement fell short of naming Pakistan, reportedly at the insistence of China, a permanent UNSC member. Nonetheless, it reflects a gradual shift in international opinion, and begins to call into question the viability of Pakistan’s traditional approach to competition with India. From 1947 onwards, Pakistan has used a rather consistent game plan.

The first step involves provoking India with unconventional military action while ensuring a degree of plausible deniability. Second, Pakistan projects India as the belligerent actor. And, third, it leverages the results to invite third-party mediation to tip the scales in its favour. The fact that the power disparity between India and Pakistan has increased — first after the bifurcation of Pakistan following the 1971 Bangladesh War and subsequently after the economic rise of India after liberalisation in 1991 — has made Pakistan all the more reliant on this three-step formula.  But with time, the play-book has started to unwind.

Consider the first step: after each major provocation Pakistan has pleaded innocence. In 1947, tribal militia were used to invade Jammu and Kashmir before the Pakistan Army became formally involved. Operation Gibraltar — the August 1965 infiltration of guerrilla forces into J&K to stage an uprising — failed before Operation Grand Slam marked the widening of war. In 1999, Pakistan denied the role of its military in the Kargil incursion until India released a voice recording of Pakistan Army chief General Pervez Musharraf demonstrating his full involvement. While Pakistan denied any role in the 1993 Mumbai bombings, the 2001 Parliament attack, and the 26/11 attacks in 2008, the prime perpetrators — Dawood Ibrahim, Masood Azhar, and Hafiz Saeed — made Pakistan their home. It is little wonder that Pakistan’s plausible deniability is becoming increasingly implausible.

The second step is to portray India as the belligerent actor. But India did not initiate conflict in 1947, 1965, or 1999, nor in the series of terrorist attacks that resulted in crises in the 1990s and 2000s. The one partial exception, the 1971 Bangladesh War, was a consequence of Pakistan’s unwillingness to recognise the election results of 1970, the resulting mass killings in East Pakistan and a man-made refugee crisis, of which India took advantage. Moreover, it was Pakistan that pre-emptively widened that conflict and initiated war with air strikes in the western sector.

The notion of Indian belligerence is questionable for other reasons. In January 1948, the Indian government released central bank funds it owed Pakistan as part of Partition, despite the ongoing Kashmir war. In 1960, as part of the Indus Waters Treaty, India paid Pakistan a sizeable sum for replacement irrigation works, despite objections by several Indian cabinet ministers. In 1965, India returned the Haji Pir Pass, captured after having been used by Pakistan for infiltration. In the 1970s, India repatriated 90,000 Pakistani prisoners of war without achieving a resolution to Jammu and Kashmir at Shimla. In 1996, India recognised Most Favoured Nation status for Pakistan, despite a lack of reciprocity.

India has continued its attempts at engagement under successive recent governments. Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s bus trip and the Lahore Declaration of 1999 was met with the Kargil incursion. Manmohan Singh’s resolve in continuing the Composite Dialogue was tested by regular terrorist attacks culminating in 26/11. Between 2014 and 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted his former Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New Delhi, resumed National Security Adviser talks, visited Lahore, and invited a Joint Investigative Team from Pakistan. Pakistan responded to these initiatives with, respectively, intensified firing on the Line of Control, scheduling meetings with the Hurriyat, the Pathankot attack, and the detention and kangaroo court trial of Kulbhushan Jadhav. Flimsy claims of water wars, Afghan consulates and nuclear and military aggression have been made to exaggerate Indian assertiveness.

All of this has justifiably increased frustration in India with Pakistan, but engagement has helped minimise the need for the third element of Pakistan’s approach: external mediation. Whether the United Nations in 1947-48, the Soviet Union in 1965, or the United States in the 1990s, Pakistan has long believed that international diplomatic intervention would play in its favour.

India, by contrast, has been insistent on resolving issues bilaterally, as the power disparity would play to its advantage. It is for this reason that India bristles at talk of mediation, however tentative or well-intentioned, whether by US diplomats, the Saudi foreign minister, the Norwegian prime minister, or Russia via the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Furthermore, such offers inadvertently justify Pakistan’s support for terrorism: if India concedes to mediation by a third party, Pakistan-backed terrorism will have served its purpose.

February 19, 2019

India’s Options after the Pulwama Attack


Note: A version of this article appeared on BBC World on February 19, 2019. Due to unapproved changes by the editors, the original draft has been reproduced below. The final published version can be read here.

On February 14, India experienced its worst Islamist terrorist attack in a decade when the car bombing of a paramilitary convoy in Jammu and Kashmir resulted in over 40 fatalities. While the suicide bomber was a local Kashmiri, the group that recruited, trained, and equipped him was Jaish-e-Mohammed, a United Nations-designated terrorist organisation that claimed responsibility for the attack and operates openly in Pakistan.

The incident at Pulwama adds to a long history of terror attacks in India by groups protected and supported by Pakistan’s security agencies, including the 1993 Mumbai bombings, the 2001 assault on the Indian parliament, the 2008 Mumbai attacks, and the 2016 targeting of military bases at Pathankot and Uri. With Indian general elections around the corner, the government is under pressure to respond to the latest provocation, or at least demonstrate that such actions are not without consequences. What are some of India’s options?

Diplomatic Efforts
At the political level, India-Pakistan relations have been frozen for almost three years. In his first two years in office after 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited his Pakistani counterpart to his inauguration, resumed talks between National Security Advisers, made an unscheduled visit to Lahore, and approved a much-criticised effort at collaborative counter-terrorism investigations. Pakistan responded to these efforts with firing across the Line of Control separating the two sides, insisting on meeting with Kashmiri separatists in India, approving the attack on Pathankot, and arresting and sentencing to death an alleged Indian spy. By July 2016, as Pakistan sought to take advantage of renewed agitations in the Kashmir Valley, New Delhi’s patience dried up and its position on a number of issues hardened. Despite a new civilian government in Pakistan under Prime Minister Imran Khan, a meeting between the two countries’ foreign ministers at last year’s United Nations General Assembly was cancelled. Normal diplomatic channels have, however, continued.

After the Pulwama attack, India has undertaken a renewed diplomatic effort to make the case against Pakistan’s state support for terrorism. This outreach builds upon many years of India insisting on condemnation of Pakistan in its diplomatic pronouncements with other friendly countries, including the naming of individual groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-Taiba, and D Company. It has also linked Pakistan to the primary security challenges of its partners: for example, Japan’s concerns about North Korea. Such moves have sensitised others to India’s concerns about Pakistan, facilitated intelligence cooperation on Pakistan-based terrorist groups, and encouraged crackdowns on their financing by government authorities in many countries. New Delhi’s continued efforts in these respects also helps to create greater acceptability for economic or military costs that India might impose at a later date.

The challenge facing India is that other countries, however sympathetic, will continue to see value in retaining their ties with Pakistan. Although the United States has become increasingly frustrated with Pakistan’s duplicity on terrorism, China remains Pakistan’s closest ally, as it has for decades. It has provided Pakistan with nuclear and missile technology and equipment, conventional arms, and – under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor – billions of dollars of investment in strategic projects. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also have continuing economic and security ties with Pakistan, although both have also been warming their relations with India over the past few years. 

Even the United States and Europe differ in the priorities. The United States and European Union continue to offer Pakistan preferential trading benefits, in some cases resulting in lower tariffs on imports compared to India. Some EU officials have privately blamed the United Kingdom for Brussels’ accommodative approach towards Pakistan, and have intimated that they may take sterner measures after Brexit.

Economic Costs
The day after the Pulwama attack, India’s Cabinet Committee on Security announced that India was withdrawing Most Favoured Nation trading status with Pakistan. This had been in place since 1996, even though Pakistan had not reciprocated. The absence of MFN will significantly raise customs duties on Pakistani exports to India, effectively resulting in unilateral Indian sanctions. Given that direct trade between the two countries is negligible, this move is primarily symbolic.

The absence of trade is indicative of a general lack of direct economic leverage that India enjoys with Pakistan. This is because, in some ways, it has been implementing punitive measures against Pakistan for years. To give but one example, India has not played Pakistan in a bilateral Test cricket series since late 2007, in part because such a series would result in a financial windfall for the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Other, more severe, measures such as abrogating the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty have been suggested. Such a step would have significant costs, including eroding India’s relations with other countries with which it has water-sharing arrangements (such as China, Nepal, and Bangladesh). That said, India is already inclined to making fuller use of the waters of Indus and its tributaries, within the ambit of the existing treaty.

Beyond bilateral issues, India will likely continue to employ diplomatic pressure to raise the costs of economic and business ties with Pakistan. One expected effort will involve advocating for Pakistan to join Iran and North Korea on the black list of the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental body that coordinates policies to combat financial crimes. This would raise scrutiny on financial transactions involving Pakistan, with second-order effects for its currency inflows, credit rating, stock market, and banking sector. However, such a move will likely be resisted by China, which only dropped its opposition to Pakistan’s ‘grey listing’ last year in exchange for India’s support for Beijing’s vice presidency of the organisation. Other multilateral efforts may extend to leveraging India’s position at various export control groups in which it recently acquired membership.

Military Options
The primary challenges of military responses are that Pakistan possesses a nuclear deterrent – including possibly one of the fastest growing nuclear arsenals – as well as a potent conventionally-armed military. For all the sabre-rattling in the Indian press and public, these are realities that the Indian leadership must keep in mind.

However, both Pakistan and India have explored options below the nuclear threshold. In 1999, Pakistani forces made an incursion onto India’s side of the Line of Control resulting in the limited Kargil War. On a number of subsequent occasions, India retaliated to Pakistani provocations with coordinated small-scale raids across the Line of Control. The 2016 attacks, in response to the Uri attack, became widely known as ‘surgical strikes.’

Beyond limited ground forces operations under the nuclear threshold, countries such as the United States and Israel have made use of other kinetic options in similar situations. These have included air or missile strikes against terrorist sanctuaries and military facilities, military blockades, and various covert operations.

Other military options would be long-term in nature. The challenge of countering cross-border infiltration from Pakistan into India has already benefited from the use of various new security technologies as well as intelligence partnerships with other countries. Improvements in these areas, including through the acquisition of unmanned aircraft and enhanced technical intelligence cooperation, would represent major investments in countering the strategic challenge of cross-border terrorism from Pakistan.

Of course, these represent only some of the many ways in which India might choose to respond. If recent history is any guide, we may witness something entirely unprecedented and unexpected.

February 18, 2019

India has been squeezing Pakistan economically even before Pulwama





The following article originally appeared in The Print on February 18, 2019. 

In the aftermath of the Pulwama tragedy – the worst Islamist terror attack in India since 2008 – what can and should India do? In this instance, Pakistan’s role is certain, with its continued support to the Jaish-e-Mohammed to recruit, expand its financial network and training infrastructure. There are a number of kinetic options for retaliation, through military force or covert action, and these are undoubtedly being contemplated. Such retaliation may or may not deter Pakistan from future attacks, but they will certainly be retributive. In the meantime, what are the economic costs that India can bring to bear?

At Friday’s Cabinet Committee on Security meeting, India announced that it would withdraw the Most Favoured Nation trading status, in place since 1996 despite Pakistan’s lack of reciprocity. This imposes high customs duty on Pakistani imports to India and, as a targeted discriminatory economic measure, represents the formalisation of Indian sanctions against Pakistan.

But perhaps, there is little appreciation for how India has been making a sustained effort for many years to isolate Pakistan economically, in a bid to compel it to stop its state support for terrorism. For a variety of reasons – largely due to Pakistan’s own behaviour – these efforts have only recently become effective. But mostly due to the pathologies of Pakistan’s security state, these have not had the effect of compelling Pakistan to overturn its support for terrorism – yet.

Indian attempts at isolating Pakistan date back to the Cold War, even when India had a much weaker hand. In the 1980s, for example, India successfully lobbied the United States to refrain from extending certain military assistance to Pakistan. Efforts at isolating Pakistan continued after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, when India felt the international mood shift against cross-border terrorism.

But as during the early Cold War years and the Afghan War of the 1980s, the post-9/11 climate found Pakistan proving itself useful to the United States and others. India found commiseration, even sympathy, in many international capitals, but its concerns about Pakistan’s sponsorship of terrorism were ultimately ignored in favour of larger political considerations, namely: paranoia about Pakistan’s nuclear programme, ground lines of communication to Afghanistan, and limited counter-terrorism support that Pakistan provided under duress.

Indian efforts finally began to bear fruit only after 2007-2012. These years saw a number of developments – the Lal Masjid raid in Islamabad at China’s insistence, the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, the Raymond Davis incident, the 2011 Salala skirmish between NATO and Pakistani forces, the killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, and the Haqqani Network siege of the US Embassy compound in Kabul – that collectively tarnished Pakistan’s reputation. Subsequently, India was able to include condemnation of Pakistan-based terrorist groups – from Lashkar-e-Taiba to D-Company – in joint statements with foreign leaders. And such steps started having real economic implications, as they filtered into economic, trade, and financial policy.

Last year’s downgrading of Pakistan by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – an intergovernmental body that coordinates efforts against money laundering, terrorist financing, and financial crimes – is a good example. Pakistan’s ‘grey listing’ was being pushed by India and the United States, among others, but was being blocked by China. India supported China’s elevation to the Vice Presidency of FATF in exchange for Beijing lifting its hold on Pakistan. This move is not simply a rhetorical rap on the knuckles: it has raised the costs of financial transactions involving Pakistan, with repercussions for its credit rating, stock market, banking sector, and currency inflows.

Another good example is US aid to Pakistan. For many years, the United States provided military and economic support to Pakistan to buy logistic cooperation for the war in Afghanistan, get information about its nuclear programme, and receive occasional counter-terrorism intelligence. In 2009-2010, the US Congress – in a misguided attempt at buying long-term goodwill from the Pakistani people – passed the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act to boost non-military aid over five years.

But sustained efforts to present India’s case to the US lawmakers coupled with growing frustration in Washington meant that such financing was not renewed, in contrast to consistent long-term US aid packages to the likes of Egypt. Total US aid to Pakistan, including military reimbursements, fell from $2.6 billion in 2012 to $345 million in 2018. There were many reasons for this, primarily US anger with Pakistan’s duplicity. But as attested to by the overwhelming support for India from the US Congress, India’s advocacy also played an important role.

If Pakistan believes that none of this will matter because of continued economic assistance from China, it is somewhat mistaken. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor – a major prong of China’s Belt and Road Initiative – is certainly underway, with a host of port, road, rail, and power projects. But its economic value is grossly overstated. Chinese officials have privately admitted that they do not expect it to cross $19 billion in total investment, rather than the $60 billion or more pronounced by Pakistan. They also believe that “China’s maximum annual direct investment in Pakistan should be around US$1 billion.” Moreover, these investments are not necessary productive. Many projects have been beset with problems – including imported Chinese labour – and the one area of some success, power generation, has not been accompanied by necessary reforms to make them sustainable. This means that Pakistan will be slammed with debt to China when repayments of these loans are due in the coming few years. By contrast, despite latent security concerns and India’s boycott of the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese direct and portfolio investment in India has continued. It may well be that total Chinese investment into Pakistan will only be marginally more, and possibly even less, than total Chinese investment into India.

India is still a long way from economically isolating Pakistan. In addition to Chinese support, financing from the Gulf Arab states is ongoing, and Pakistan continues to derive trading benefits from the European Union and the United States. But India’s efforts, coupled with Pakistan’s own disastrous policies, have already had a major impact on Pakistan’s economy. In 2008, when the 26/11 attacks took place in Mumbai, the per capita GDPs of India ($1049) and Pakistan ($1038) were almost identical in dollar terms. In the decade since, India’s has almost doubled ($2016) while Pakistan’s has grown only by about 50 per cent ($1527) and has been surpassed by Bangladesh ($1736). As another point of comparison, Pakistan’s GDP today ($307 billion) is less than that of Maharashtra, a single Indian state (about $390-$400 billion). The instability of Pakistan’s economic situation is best represented by its paltry foreign exchange reserves – $8 billion – which when combined with its overall debt, put it on the brink of defaulting.

If India’s efforts, combined with growing international frustrations and Pakistan’s misguided policies, have put Pakistan in such an economically precarious situation, why has that not stopped its support for terrorism against India? The answer lies, in large part, with the strategic culture of the Pakistan Army, best captured in American scholar Christine Fair’s book Fighting to the End. After assessing the Pakistan Army’s own literature, Fair argues that the army will see itself victorious as long as it continues to resist a supposedly belligerent India. Its revisionist policies – including cross-border terrorism – will therefore endure even at the cost of weakening the fundamentals of the country, including its economy. “Pakistan will suffer any number of military defeats… but it will not acquiesce to India,” Fair concludes. “This, for the Pakistan Army, is genuine and total defeat.”