Repeat of 1965 – Pakistan Fortifying Punjab, Leaving Other ‘Less Significant’ Regions Vulnerable?

Who would not remember the 1965 India-Pakistan War when Islamabad spend all their resources to protect the West Pakistan region especially Punjab and leaving East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) vulnerable. The Indian security agencies have picked up a lot of activity which includes maintenance of bunkers, defence positions, room-like structures, outpost towers construction in the highly precious Punjab region. Experts have questioned why other ‘less-significant’ regions have been ignored? A EurAsian Times analysis.

India-Pakistan War of 1971 – 90,000 Pakistan Soldiers Surrender in Dhaka

There is credible evidence pointing to the fact that these activities (fortifying Punjab) are being conducted by the Pakistani Army and the Border Forces – The Rangers.

There have been movements of a large number of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) near the border region. These UAVs have been observed previously hovering in the Amritsar sector in the Punjab frontier on almost 35 occasions. These flying objects are said to conduct reconnaissance activities in the regions near the border. The BSF has also indicated such activities occurring in Gurdaspur, Ferozepur and Fazilka sectors.

“Pakistan’s activities are going unabated and they are creating defensive infrastructures on the border in Punjab region. We have to prepare ourselves in a way to match their activities and preparedness,” said intelligence agencies in a report sharing inputs on border activities.

The agencies have also found that the culprits at the Punjab border are using archaic modes of communication for fear of being caught in the act. The intelligence agencies have warned about the possible use of satellite communications and kept forces on alert.

Additional information on the possibility of the development of an “unmanned robotic mini-tank” has reached Indian agencies. Sources are indicating that the Pakistan Army had tested said “robotic mini-tank” in 2018, in the presence of General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Karachi.

Fortification of Punjab: Is History Repeating Itself?

The fortification of Punjab is not something new as Pakistan’s fortunes lie in protecting the Punjab region. In the recent past as well, Pakistan has forged an identity as being a shrewd Islamic state almost unmindful of the cultural diversity that thrives in the region. When India sought for a secular state under the law, Pakistan went for the Islamic theocratic alternative. The separation of Bangladesh can be found in these ideas of theocracy as well.

If 1947 was a great tragedy, then division of Punjab in the west and Bengal in the east to become Pakistan was an even bigger one for Bengalis. Suddenly, the majority Bengalis in East Pakistan were home to 55 per cent of Pakistan’s population – who were to be ruled by a distant minority in West Pakistan.

The rule of the Urdu-speaking Muslim League was founded upon a sense of religious purity and catering to the Islamic population. The nation of Pakistan had no place for the Bengalis who were clearly the majority in this scenario.

During the India-Pakistan War of 1965, the population of East Pakistan laid waste and vulnerable as the Indian Army came marching through the door. The Pakistan forces had done their best to fortify the Punjab region of West Pakistan while almost completely and utterly disregarding the safety of their citizens on the East side of the border. This foolhardiness cost them the war and set seeds for the war of 1971 for the separate nation of Bangladesh.

Is Pakistan making the same mistakes again? With the Pakistan military and the political heads refusing to pay heed to the rising embers of the turmoil in the Sindh region and various other regions of the country, experts have suggested that  “history could repeat itself”  and Pakistan could again find itself in an embarrassing position.