While acknowledging India's definite conventional superiority over Pakistan, the argument is that it is not enough to "wipe out" Pakistan.
Enough to defeat and badly maul any invading Paki forces, yes. Enough to push into Pakistan and take over large-ish tracts of land, yes. But not "wipe out" or "put an end to" Pakistan, particularly after a nuke exchange.
Let me elaborate. Assume that if there were to be a nuke attack on India, at least half would be on military targets (rather than 100% on civilian targets). Also assume, worst case, that they have 100 usable nukes. So, we can expect:
(1) 25-30 nukes used for: massive damage to, or destruction of, key airfields: Ambala, Amritsar, Awantipur, Chandigarh, Halwara, Hindon, Pathankot, Sirsa, Baghdogra, Kalaikunda, Agra, Gorakhpur, Gwalior, Bhuj, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Jamnagar, Lohegaon, Bikaner, Phalodi, Yelhanka, Nagpur
(2) 8-10 nukes used for: hitting key navy installations and ports: Mumbai, Vishakapatnam (within missile range?), Karwar, Goa.
(3) 20 odd nukes used for: Hitting key army formations/commands: Southern Command Pune, XII Corps Jodhpur, XXI Corps Bhopal, Jhansi, SW Command Jaipur, I Corps Mathura, Ambala, Bhatinda, Sri Ganganagar, Kota, Bikaner, Patiala, Meerut, IX Corps at Yol, XI Corps Jalandhar, Firozpur, Amritsar
(Note I have not included any targets in J&K).
Even after this attack pattern, the Pakis would have another 40-odd nukes to hit political/civilian/infra/economic targets.
Now, the question is: if this were to happen, estimate the damage and destruction to our military infrastructure and assets. For example, what % of air assets would we be left with? And then see if our armed forces would be in a position to "wipe out" Pakistan.
We would of course hit them very hard, wipe out almost all their military assets, but not completely destroy Pakistan if by such destruction you mean occupy every inch of land or as some posters seem to suggest, kill every Pakistani. Perhaps India could still muster enough conventional forces to occupy Pakistani Punjab and Sindh - but to what end? Holding on to that territory as an occupier is not as easy as it sounds; look at the US in Afghanistan and Iraq.
I believe that to is what Kannan was referring to - please note that in any case India would still retain conventional superiority over Pakistan and that is not being debated.
COuld you please explain "wipe out" ? On the one hand you mention that we have enough to take over vast tracts of land but beyond that you say "wipe out". YOu need to quantify what wipe out is.
I again want to stress on conventional superiority. You are seeing a nuclear exchange and conventional war in different domains. The fact is they go together. Pakistan does not have the reach to take out several bases let alone what you have mentioned.It does not have reliable weapons, and does not have enough time to take out all the targets you have mentioned. The conventional superiorty we have will ensure that Pakistan is reliant largely on its missiles. All these missiles will have to be deep inside its territory for them to survive. And they will be susceptible to our missiles. I am not saying that Pakistan cannot detonate a weapon inside INdian territory. It can but definately not the numbers you say. When one is detonated inside Indian territory, Pakistan itself is in race against time to launch as many as it can. If you have read the thread, you will understand the logistics behind doing this stuff.
With every inch of Pakistani territory possibly mapped, it will be very quite hard for them sustain their launches. Their option is to keep all their nuclear weapons ready and prepare to launch them all within days for them to pull off something like you mentioned. EVen this will not be unnoticed. For Pakistan to prepare for that, some threshold has to be crossed. What is that threshold? I don#t know. But Pakistan will realize that by doing that they are going for broke.
With our BMD system,we are also addressing the Pakistani missile situation. Why do you think Pakistanis say that there is a arms race in South Asia. The conventional superiority is making it very hard for them to reliably strike - and they start whining.
Do keep in mind that the numbers of every equipment we buy are not something random. They are based on what the military planners envision when it comes to a war. They base this on the various scenarios and arrive at a number which ensures maximum protection and damage they can inflict.