Among Pakistani military insiders, Cold Start has been under discussion since 2005. But our neighbors aggressive strategy surfaced as a major challenge after Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor sounded a warning in January 2010 that a limited war under the nuclear hangover is still very much a reality.17 Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani responded: Cold Start would permit the Indian Army to attack before mobilizing, increasing the possibility of a sudden spiral escalation.18
Be that as it may, Pakistans riposte to the Indian Army chiefs incendiary pronouncement came in April 2010 in the form one of the largest field maneuvers the country has ever mustered. Jointly conducted by Pakistans army and air force and called Azm-e-Nau 3 (New Resolve), the exercise aimed at developing response options to Cold Start. Between 10 April and 13 May, 20,000-50,000 troops participated.19 The area involved Pakistans eastern border in Sialkot, Cholistan, and the province of Sindh in the south.
The scenario played out as follows: The Foxland army (representing India) suddenly invaded and occupied part of Blueland territory (Pakistan). A Blueland antitank battalion used dispersal tactics based on Pakistans real military doctrine to regain territory in an equally swift manner.20 In the closing stages, live weapon demonstrations and the shoot-down of a drone were also carried out. Still, the reality of Cold Start places a dilemma before Pakistans military planners, as far as guessing which of Indias IBGs would be launched.
In Azm-e-Nau 3, the Pakistan Navy was assigned the inconsequential role of observer. If continued, such a course could be a fatal mistake. Pakistan cannot afford to overlook the lessons of the past. This nations air force and navy learned of the Kargil conflict only after the Indian military reaction had started to unfold. By then it had become indispensable for Pakistans army to seek the sudden support of the nations two other armed forces.
Even though features inherent to naval platforms, such as rapid mobility, stealth, and speed of deployment, may discount the need for a joint response (at least for the exercises), fixations on modus operandi and clinging to dogmas have destroyed many militaries before.
Because Pakistan inherited a British colonial legacy, the army has dominated the country during much of its history. Past wars with India have been mostly land affairs, with Pakistan suffering severe setbacks because of a weak navy. Yet the armys mindset remains unchanged. In this climate, the Pakistan Navy strives to demonstrate the significance of maritime issues in the overall national-security calculus.
Aside from its deficiently assigned role in Azm-e-Nau 3, the Pakistan Navy remains fully cognizant of the threat that the Indian Navy could pose in the maritime domain during Cold Start. Accordingly, a major conceptual exercise designed to assess this, evaluate possible scenarios of conflict at sea, and analyze response options was concluded in late 2010.22 Named Shamsheer-e-Bahr IV (Sea Sword), the exercise addressed the new Indian warfighting concept and aimed to prepare a comprehensive counter-strategy.
Spread over two and a half months, the war game was planned sequentially, from peace to full-war scenarioparticularly in the southern sector of the country bordering India. Lessons emerging from this effort will be applied in the subsequent Navy-wide exercise Sea Spark to develop Pakistans future naval strategy. To inject realism and draw useful information, from the outset the 5th Corps of the Pakistan Army (with its area of operation in the south) and the Pakistan Air Force (Southern Air Command) have been actively involved in the planning effort. Also included are several other representatives of relevant government departments.