The Kargil War
Kargil proved that Pakistan’s perceived/latent nuclear capacity could blunt India’s superiority in conventional warfare. The Kargil War, the fourth and last war fought by India and Pakistan, was a quasi-conventional war. More important, it was fought against the backdrop of two combatants who had just become nuclear powers. Many Western commentators believe that the Kargil conflict had the potential to transform into a nuclear exchange in the subcontinent. The dominant view as propounded in Western circles is that deft diplomatic manoeuvring by the US saved the situation by restraining both India and Pakistan. The chapter presents the development of India’s and Pakistan’s nuclear programmes. It analyses the military modernization of India, Pakistan and Pakistan’s ‘all weather ally’ China, until the onset of the Kargil War. The chapter analyses the nature of the combat in Kargil. The Indian and Pakistani armed forces modernized slowly in the post-Bangladesh War era.