Submarines Don’t Move By Mistake. This Was Deliberate. But Why?
In the aftermath of Pulwama incident in mid Feburary and powerful statements by the leadership on both sides followed by Indian intrusion into Pakistani air space staging Balakot drama and shooting down of two Indian aircraft by Pakistan including Indian pilot episode which led to an environment where planned Indian missile attack on Karachi and Bahawalpur was detected before time by Pakistan and averted with combination of diplomacy and deterrence.
During last 48 hours, almost two billion people on both sides of the border perilously but optimistically kept hoping for a peace gesture from PM Modi. In reality, on Tuesday, Pakistan Navy spokesman announced to have identified Indian submarine on 4 March at 2030 hours and spoiled its attempt to enter into Pakistani waters.
Pakistan Navy also claimed to have locked on this submarine using its special skills but did not destroy the submarine based on its demonstrated policy for peace since Pakistan never wanted to escalate the situation. Indian media in its first response has claimed this video to be 2-3 years old. Is it real? If real, could it happen by mistake? If it is real and can’t happen by mistake, then why the need was felt for such an act by Indian Navy? Why did Pakistan Navy show restraint for the second time in 3 years, and especially yesterday? What if it was not identified and had been pre-positioned by India?
In the technology dominated world of today, old video drama is too risky for Pakistan which is in an advantageous position and more importantly, had there been no such movement by Indian Navy, it could have been physically and technically proved by India in next 4-5 hours to embarrass Pakistan and also declare previously achieved success in kinetic domain as fake. So it’s very much real. Suspected areas of submarines are generally known to each side. It’s a matter of being alert, technically sound and professional in approach. So well done Pakistan Navy. Reality is that once it comes to waters, there is no buffer zone or ‘no man’s land’. In case of India and Pakistan that imaginary line runs through Sir Creek which India refuses to accept to date. However, the type of weapon detected and location of this detection coupled with video air shot showing mast of a submarine above surface rules out possibility of any mistake. Submarines never move by mistake.
This movement by India was for area sensitization and premeditated in nature and effects. Submarine was coming to preposition itself – a standard operating procedure which is done due to slow speed of submarines. Such steps are taken only if a country is either eyeing the next ladder of escalation or is planning for war. In line with Indian elections and likely designs, this is the time to move and preposition these submarines to be in a advantageous position if a limited conflict takes place or at least take on a target of Pakistan navy to embarrass our armed forces in naval domain after facing an embarrassment in the air.
Taking on a submarine is a big decision since it’s not firing across LOC. It amounts to starting a war. Imagine the situation, if it was a nuclear submarine. It must be carrying over 300 marines and its nuclear payload is too devastating. Look at its public and political impact on India in the charged prevailing environment. Pakistan must stay on guard in air, on ground and in the sea in addition to political and diplomatic spheres till Indian elections are over in May 2019.
The writer is a PhD scholar with diverse experience and international exposure. He possesses conscious knowledge about phenomenon of terrorism and extremism coupled with realistic understanding of geo political, social and security environment