(Newswire.net— February 28, 2019) — For hundreds of years, India and Pakistan have an ongoing dispute regarding Jammu and Kashmir territories. Both sides claim they have the right.
India administers approximately 43% of the region controlling Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, Ladakh, and the Siachen Glacier. While Pakistan administers approximately 37% of the region, namely Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. The remaining 20% mostly composed of uninhabited areas is administered by China.
On February 14, a Pakistani Suicide bomber targeted a convoy of security personnel vehicles in Jammu and Kashmir territory controlled by India. The suicide attack killed at least 42 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officers.
Responsibility for the attack was claimed by a Pakistan-based Islamist group called Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) whose goal is to unite Kashmir with Pakistan. Also, they are radical Islamists under Sharia law aiming to drive Western forces and other non-Muslims out of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The suicide bomber attack in Kashmir was labeled as a terrorist attack in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), which stated that India has the right to fight back. So, India has launched an airstrike against JeM targets on the territory of Pakistan which Islamabad called a violent breach of international law and a military attack to a sovereign country. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan authorized his military to “respond decisively and comprehensively to any aggression or misadventure” by India.
On the edge of war, India and Pakistan have one more issue to consider. They are both nuclear powers.
Let’s say, that both India and Pakistan will have enough common sense to not deploy nuclear weapons. Interestingly, it would be a clash of Russian and American warplanes and rockets, since Pakistan was supplied by the U.S. and India has its own military connections with Moscow.
Beside Mig 29 and SU 30 multirole fighter bombers, New Delhi also has French-made Dassault Mirage 2000 fourth-generation fighters.
Pakistani air force has F-16s fighter jets and a large number of Chinese-made aircraft, although their types and characteristics are unknown.
When it comes to air defense, both sides are far from the most-advanced weapons of our time. However, surface-to-air missiles from Soviet era S-125 Neva/Pechora (NATO reporting name SA-3 Goa) are very similar to the system that was responsible for downing an American F-16 and “the invisible” F-117-A in NATO bombing campaign of Serbia in 1999.
Beside outdated Neva systems, India also has a French short-range anti-air missile, Crotale, produced since the late 1970s which is still in use by France as well. The remainder of India’s air defense systems are no match to Pakistan’s S-75 equivalent when it comes to range and altitude ceiling.
India’s military heavily relies on Russian technology and the U.S. always had a “special relationship” with Pakistan, since Pentagon trained its paramilitary troops to conduct “actions” in Iran. It is no secret that Washington financed the Pakistani terrorist group Jundallah, which is responsible for a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran.
The terrorist attack of the JeM group in Kashmir happened just after New Delhi announced that the country successfully tested a new hypersonic missile carried by SU-30 bombers. The BrahMos missile is a joint Indian-Russian project, and named after the Brahmaputra and Moskva rivers in the two countries. It is considered unmatched in its category as it flies at three times the speed of sound.
If these two countries engage in serious conflict, it would not only be another humanitarian crisis on the planet with epic proportions but a good chance to test the real efficiency of BrahMos rocket as well.