Home Doctrinal Shift in the Indian Military: Implications for Pakistan

Vol. I No. 1 (2023): Strategic Perspectives, Winter 2023

Doctrinal Shift in the Indian Military: Implications for Pakistan

Dr. Masood Ur Rehman Khattak & Dr. Kokab Al Saba 


This paper examines the doctrinal shift in the Indian military’s strategy and its implications for Pakistan and regional stability in South Asia. Since the overt nuclearization of South Asia, India has progressively moved from a defensive to an offensive posture, culminating in the introduction of the New Land Warfare Doctrine in 2018. These doctrines emphasize limited war scenarios, force modernization, surgical strikes, and hybrid warfare, signaling a strategic pivot aimed at asserting dominance over Pakistan. Through a historical analysis of India-Pakistan relations, the paper elucidates the transformation in India’s military doctrine and its repercussions for strategic stability in the region. It utilizes the Security Dilemma Theory to explain the escalating arms race and the cycle of action and reaction between the two nuclear-armed neighbors. Furthermore, the study critically analyzes India’s military modernization efforts, including the operationalization of doctrines such as the Cold Start Doctrine and the capability for surgical strikes, and their potential to undermine conventional deterrence in South Asia. The paper argues that India’s doctrinal shift and military modernization pose significant security challenges for Pakistan, compelling it to adopt countermeasures to maintain strategic parity. The implications of this evolving security dynamic are profound, risking an escalation into a comprehensive conflict with far-reaching consequences for regional and global peace. The study concludes by advocating for a comprehensive strategy by Pakistan to address these challenges.

Key Words

New Land Warfare Doctrine-2018, Strategic Stability, India, Military Modernization

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