Pakistan's Conventional War-Fighting Doctrine and the Way Forward

11 Nov 2019    

Press Release

India and Pakistan stand at the precipice of yet another crisis over Kashmir, second in the same year. India’s illegal and illegitimate deoperationalization of Article 370 and 35A has led to revocation of Jammu & Kashmir’s special status. The nuclear component of this emerging crisis is twofold: a) Pakistan, who wants India to resolve the dispute of Kashmir in the light of UN Resolutions, can go to war with India over Kashmir with uncertain escalation dynamics and b) covert nuclear signaling by the Indian Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, on the malleability of Indian No First Use doctrine suggesting that it can ‘change’ depending upon circumstances in the future, adds to the already volatile situation across the Line of Control. As the situation unfolds, Kashmir begs attention of the international community as a nuclear flashpoint which has the potential of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In the most recent crisis between the two states, India attacked Pakistan on February 26, 2019 in the town of Jabba, Balakot, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. The assumption on which India attacked Pakistan was flawed and based on the poor understanding of a new reality taking shape: the indigenization of the Kashmir insurgency in the Indian administered Kashmir and a misreading of Pakistan’s response options under the Full Spectrum Deterrence.

Pakistan’s demonstration of its capability and resolve was rational and calculated. It needs to be appreciated that it was Pakistan’s rational and calculated response to India’s abortive strikes — through its choice of targeted locations, the manner of their execution, and the release of the captured pilot — that helped achieve crisis termination.
Perhaps because Pakistan’s response was unprecedented and ran counter to most experts’ prediction that a conventionally-inferior, nuclear-armed state would escalate to the nuclear level relatively early on in a crisis, it has been hard for many scholars to give credit to Pakistan for credibly signaling its capability and resolve, leading to crisis termination. It is important to learn the right lessons from the Pulwama-Balakot crisis. Indeed, it has important implications for the shape that the Indo-Pakistan nuclear rivalry will take in the future. This one-day conference will deconstruct the Balakot strikes and Pakistan’s response to deliberate on Pakistan’s conventional war-fighting doctrine and options in future crises between India and Pakistan.


Session I

Air Chief Marshal Kaleem Saadat (Retd)

Session I - Speaker I

Keynote by President CASS

Session I

Dr. Rabia Akhtar

Session I - Speaker II

Director CSSPR, University of Lahore

Session I

Air Cdre Kaiser Tufail (Retd)

Session I - Speaker III

Deconstructing Balakot Strikes

Session I

Air Marshal Javed Ahmed (Retd) HI (M)

Session I - Speaker IV

Director Doctrine and Warfare, CASS

Session I

Mr. Ejaz Haider

Session I - Speaker V

Executive Editor, Indus News

Session II

Mr. Ejaz Haider

Session II - Speaker I

Executive Editor, Indus News

Session II

Air Cdre Khalid Banuri (Retd)

Session II - Speaker II

Former DG ACDA

Session II

Dr. Adil Sultan

Session II - Speaker III

Director Nuclear and Strategic Current Affairs, CASS

Session II

Ms. Saima Aman

Session II - Speaker IV

Senior Research Officer, Center for International Strategic Studies(CISS)

Session III

Dr. Salma Malik

Session III - Speaker I

Assistant Professor, DSS, QAU

Session III

Air Marshal Waseem ud Din (Retd) HI (M)

Session III - Speaker II

Director National Security Outlook, CASS

Session III

Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal

Session III - Speaker III

Professor, International Relations, QAU

Session III

Mr. Syed Ali Zia Jaffery

Session III - Speaker IV

 Research Associate, CSSPR, University of Lahore

Session III

Mr. Awais Raoof

Session III - Speaker V

Chairman BoG, University of Lahore