Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has said the military is fully prepared to respond to threats of any kind whatsoever, be they direct, indirect, overt or covert.
Gen Kayani made the statement during a visit to the Sialkot garrison to witness an army mobilisation exercise on Tuesday. According to a senior military official, the army chief was trying to convey the message that “conventional threats” to Pakistan are still a reality.
Recently, the army changed its decades-old doctrine by acknowledging that growing militancy in the country was posing a serious threat to the country’s national security. But now, the military is attempting to play down the hype.
“A full spectrum of threat means that we cannot remain oblivious to all aspects including conventional and sub-conventional,” the official explained while requesting anonymity. He maintained that the army mobilisation exercise clearly indicated that the conventional threat had not receded by any means.
The exercise is part of the army’s new concept of war fighting in response to India’s allegedly Pakistan-specific Cold Start Doctrine.
The doctrine is intended to allow India’s conventional forces to carry out swift and unexpected attacks in a manner before international pressure could bear down on India and before Pakistani military can react; that is, in under 72 hours. The Indian military, however, denies the existence of any such doctrine.
The military official said under the new concept, Pakistan Army can mobilise in less time than India in case of war.
“The changes aim at improving the mobilisation time to enable Pakistan Army to put in practice the army’s new concept of war fighting, which has already been evolved and validated in the Azm-e-Nau series of war games and exercises in the last four years,” said a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2013.
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