The Indian security establishment sees itself bereft of options in case of a Pakistani nightmare scenario coming to fruition. A senior Indian army officer, told StratPost, “There are no options really.”
The scenario envisages the eventuality of the collapse of the Pakistan state with the country being overrun by Taliban, throwing-up private armies of feudal warlords, with the possibility of some getting access to nuclear weapons.
“Firstly, the earlier backdown by the Taliban in Buner in the face of the Pakistan army shows the army exercises considerable influence over the Taliban. It shows a clear nexus between the two,” said the officer.
Explaining further, he says, “The Taliban was allowed to advance so far for several reasons. One is unhappiness over US criticism over the way the Pakistan army has handled the Taliban. Secondly, military and financial aid. It is also important to note the security of Pakistani nuclear assets has also begun to be called into question, regardless of what President Zardari might say.”
“We do not see ourselves getting involved with the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) in Afghanistan and we do not see ourselves reducing troops from our western borders. It’s difficult to see what India can do to preempt this sort of worst-case scenario from realizing,” is his conclusion.
The scenario in question sees Pakistan going the way of Afghanistan due to either the acquiescence of the Pakistan army or a lack of will on their part to actively counter the Taliban advance. This would see Pakistan being divided into fiefdoms of various feudal warlords with private armies, with now heightened concerns over the custody of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of some of them. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was quoted as saying, “If the worst, the unthinkable, were to happen, and this advancing Taliban encouraged and supported by Al Qaeda and other extremists were to essentially topple the government for failure to beat them back,” adding over the weekend, “then they would have the keys to the nuclear arsenal of Pakistan.”