The India had made the plan to attack Pakistan after the Pulwama attack in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir on February 14. The Indian government of PM Modi ordered the Indian military to prepare a plan to launch missile attacks on Pakistani cities. PM Modi conducted a long meeting with Army, Air force and Naval chiefs to chalk out the plan to attack Pakistan.
PM Modi and his military leadership reportedly “selected to hit at least nine targets inside Pakistan” with missiles and then “finalised” at least two cities as first targets. Government sources in Pakistan say the initial targets were most probably Karachi and Bahawalpur.
But Pakistani premier intelligence agency got the news on time and informed the Pakistani government about this Indian plan. Pakistan immediately conveyed its clear message to American administration and British government about its response to such attack. Pakistani message was loud and clear that it would hit back three times harder if attacked. Pakistan made it clear that it will do whatever possible to protect its territorial integrity.
The US administration conveyed the Pakistani message to India and also warned India that the international powers would not be able to stop the confrontation from progressing into a full-blown conventional and nuclear war.
After getting timely information from Pakistan’s elite intelligence agencies Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting of the National Command Authority late on February 27. Established in February 2000, the NCA controls the government policy on nuclear weapons. Its members essentially include the Prime Minister, the Foreign, Defence and Interior ministers, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), three Services Chiefs, and Director-General of Strategic Plans Division.
Sources claim that the Pakistani meeting discussed the Indian plan in detail and went on to select 12 Indian cities that were to be hit in retaliation to the Indian aggression. “All hits were to be of conventional weapons.” Pakistan decided to hit India three times harder. “If India were to hit Pakistan with one missile, Pakistan would have reciprocated with three – on three different cities inside India.”
After finalising the retaliation plan and strategy, Pakistan informed the US and Britain about it. They were clearly told that 12 Indian cities have been shortlisted for the purpose, the sources said.
The United States not only conveyed the Pakistani message to India – of hitting them three times harder, they also told them that nobody would be able to stop them [Pakistan]. And that the next stage could be a nuclear war,” the sources said and added that the US warning was the “only thing that forced India to back off from trying what they had planned.”
Indian attack on Pakistan could have triggered a full-blown conventional war between the two nuclear neighbours. According to the Western diplomatic sources in London, India tried to win the backing of all the major Western powers for its plan to attack Pakistan. But Western powers refused to side with India and made it clear that any attack will trigger a war that led to a nuclear war.
India was hoping to get the support of western powers in its counter-terrorism strikes but failed to win over them. And when Western powers informed India about the planned Pakistani retaliation and counter offensive then India changed its mind. The calculated diplomatic offensive by the Pakistani government thwarted the planned Indian attack.
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17 November, 2019