Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 27 Dec 2014 12:41

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SKIES ABOVE LAHORE
DAY 2 + 0842 HRS


Grewal looked to the side of his cockpit and saw the city’s eastern and southern outskirts enveloped by pillars of black smoke. The orange and yellow fireballs erupting below were also visible. With his target designation pod hanging underneath the belly of his LCA, he could even see buildings collapsing under fire from Indian T-90s and rocket artillery smashing into the Pakistani defenders as they conducted fighting withdrawals deeper into the city to the west and north.

But over the past twenty minutes, he had been seeing a dramatic turn of events. By all indications, it was clear that the Pakistani defenders were withdrawing out of the city. Under other circumstances it would have been joyous news to Grewal and Ramesh, his wingman. But based on what they had seen over the last day, it didn’t add up. The Pakistanis and their jihadi compatriots were fiercely defending Lahore. Inflicting heavy casualties on the Indian armor and infantry forces outside the city. And while it was true that the Indian forces had worked their way around the city, especially to the south and west, Lahore’s defenders had not been beaten. Not by a long shot. They could have kept this fight up for days. So why were these convoys in his sights heading west?

Grewal and Ramesh had been on station as escort/backup for a flight of Mirage-2000s from No. 7 Squadron on bomb-truck duty. Two single-seat Mirages were dropping laser-guided bombs under the guidance of a third two-seater Mirage with a laser designation pod, similar to that carried on Grewal’s LCA. Grewal and Ramesh were standing away from the area of operations of the Mirages and were operating north of the city at high altitude, watching for PAF interceptors. But Ramesh and Grewal both carried two laser-guided bombs as well in case the Mirage pilots began running short of munitions for their targets.

But the skies were clear. The Phalcon radar imagery from the east confirmed that the PAF was not in the skies around Lahore this morning. That in itself was odd. The PAF had been fiercely contesting the IAF strikes over Lahore and Islamabad whenever and wherever they could. Even though their capability to do so had been sapped by heavy-handed IAF counter-air operations, that hadn’t prevented the PAF from sending whatever fighters it had left to challenge Indian air efforts in the battle for Lahore.

Nothing added up today. Which equated to something being up on the Pakistani side. Grewal was no fool. That feeling in the pit of his stomach told him to expect the worst…

“Tinder-two, good hit. Switching designation to that northern building with the ack-ack battery on the rooftop. Tinder-three: you are on.”
“Confirm, Tinder-leader. Standing by. You have the ball.”

The radio chatter woke Grewal up from his thoughts and he looked up from the display screen of his designator to see the skies to the south. Blue skies taking shape to the east and the sun was rising. The orange sunlight was glimmering off the top surfaces of the Mirages as they banked to the side, a thousand feet below his altitude.

He decided to focus on his job at hand and leave his thoughts on the battle below for later. He flicked the designator off after confirming that it was a convoy of ambulances heading west from what appeared to be a field hospital. He wasn’t going to strike an ambulance convoy. He wasn’t that desperate for ground targets, after all…

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 27 Dec 2014 12:43

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NORTHWEST OF LAHORE
DAY 2 + 0910 HRS


“Any news?” Haider asked Akram as the latter sat with the radiomen in the back of the vehicle.
Akram shook his head in dismissal: “Nothing yet.”

Haider’s heartbeat increased but he simply nodded and then looked forward to see the ambulances driving in front of him. They were driving through the northwestern outskirts of the city and the sounds of the fighting had subsided substantially. They were passing through roads being kept clear by the military police. The civilians were being shuffled to the side in hordes to make way for the military vehicles to pass. Even so, the chaos and confusion on the faces of the civilians was palatable.

Haider wondered if they were far enough away yet. Technically they were almost out of the lethal zone. But not out of the zone enough that when the explosion did occur, the shockwave would rip through their convoy like a hot knife through butter. No. They had to drive some more distance out of the city. Another ten minutes or more.

Which was just fine to him, of course. The more time they took to get away, the more time General Hussein had to call off this monstrous order. Maybe the battle for Rahim Yar Khan and the last stand of the 1ST Armored Division and associated units there would be enough to finally sap the momentum of the Indian forces. Maybe this order will be rendered irrelevant by an Indian call for a ceasefire…

But even he didn’t believe that. What would he do if he were in the Indian shoes right now? If he was in a position of such a decisive victory, would he stop and let the Pakistanis recover? Never! He would drive on until they had vanquished the Hindus once and for all. For that matter, considering the stakes, wasn’t it his duty to do everything in his power to prevent the Indians from succeeding?

Everything and every option!

His face contorted as he finally came to terms with what must be done. Suddenly, the hope that Hussein would call this off became irrelevant. He chastised himself for being so defeatist in the face of this decisive jihad against the Indians. Now it didn’t matter. Hussein might call or he might not. The defenders at Rahim Yar Khan and Lahore might hold or they might not. Pakistan could now hope to win this war only if it went nuclear. And if it required sacrificing a half abandoned city to paste the Hindus as having used nuclear weapons, then so be it. He could rely on Hussein and the civilian government and even the Indian media to spread the doubt of culpability on New Delhi. And then the pressure would be on the Indians to put a stop to this madness or to keep at it and end up escalating this war until it went nuclear…

And a nuclear war was one Pakistan could hope to win against the Hindus. Haider was sure of this in his mind. It was the only option now standing in between them and yet another humiliating defeat like the one in 1971.

No!
This defeat had to be staved off now!

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 27 Dec 2014 12:43

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SKIES ABOVE LAHORE
DAY 2 + 0935 HRS


Ahh!
Grewal squinted as the flash of light blossomed in the eastern part of the city. It rapidly expanded in a split second to envelope three-quarters of the city and rose above it like a expanding balloon. The brightness was intense enough to completely blind and disorient Grewal and Ramesh. Their fighters rocked back and forth as both pilots instinctively jerked their controls.

By the time Grewal had reached for his helmet-mounted visor and snapped it over his eyes, the expanding ball of light had turned into a white mushroom with a base of hellish orange-yellow clouds. It was so bright that the visor didn’t help much either. He then tried to bring his arm up to shield his eyes, and he found that he could see the red blood and tissue in his arms because of the brightness…

And then it subsided somewhat.

Grewal knew what that meant. A massive wall of shockwave was heading towards them. The horror of that was beyond his comprehension. He went for the comms, not realizing that they were of no use now: “Dagger-two! Get the ****** out of here! We are about to…”

The shockwave struck the tiny LCA like a tsunami, despite the fact that it was highly dissipated by the time it reached that altitude. But it was enough to knock the aircraft aside like a piece of paper in the wind. The aircraft was swept aside and the port wing outer sections sheared off, causing an uncontrolled roll at an phenomenal rate as the aircraft plummeted from the sky.

Inside the cockpit, all possible simultaneous alarms and warnings were blaring and screeching. Grewal tried some controls and found that they were non-responsive. The engine had flamed out. No hope of relighting it under these conditions. There wasn’t much to do.

It was time to leave.

Grewal pulled himself into his seat as best as he could do under the centrifugal conditions and pulled the ejection handle. The forces exerted on his body under such conditions were massive. He was knocked out instantly and everything turned black…

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby Nitesh » 27 Dec 2014 13:12

Pakis destroyed lahore, truly suicidal. But vivek saar, this is only second day, and pakis are suiciding

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby Cain Marko » 27 Dec 2014 19:31

I don't get this - why exactly did they bomb themselves? So that world would think India did it?

Does not add up Vivek saar. Aam Abdul Pakis might buy this, but doubtful if row will. Ministry of external affairs and the entire Indian apparatus will fly into.action to prove the truth. Also, Aren't there ways to check nuke signatures based on fallout indicating the location where bum materials were sourced?

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby jamwal » 27 Dec 2014 21:41

Cain Marko wrote:I don't get this - why exactly did they bomb themselves? So that world would think India did it?

Does not add up Vivek saar. Aam Abdul Pakis might buy this, but doubtful if row will. Ministry of external affairs and the entire Indian apparatus will fly into.action to prove the truth. Also, Aren't there ways to check nuke signatures based on fallout indicating the location where bum materials were sourced?



AFAIK, there are. Apart from that, it can be easily detected that it was an on ground detonation. Lack of missile launch, bomb detonation on ground, , so many Indian causalities don't make it a good cover story for Bakis. On the other hand, Bakis may have taken some measures to blame Indians.

Lets wait for more posts for things to become clearer.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby Khalsa » 28 Dec 2014 09:17

Vivek,

if the aim is to incriminate the indian side of nuking then I understand.
Else if they intend to show that obliterated Lahore to prevent the falling of it then its a bit hard to swallow.

Punjabis are the majority of the Pakistan Army and Lahore is the cultural and spiritual centre of Panjab.
It would be akin to us nuking Amritsar ... bit hard to see them doing it even in the face of an Indian onslaught.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby anand_sankar » 28 Dec 2014 14:46

Vivek,

For once I have to say, I am not convinced with the Pakis nuking Lahore themselves. It is an impossible sell for them to say the Indians did it. For one, India has a 'stated' no first use policy. And there was plenty of opportunity to retaliate for Mumbai if they wanted to, but they went conventional instead. It is far easier for the Indians to sell the idea that Pakistan is out of control and the Jihadis are in control of the nuclear arsenal.

That said I am a huge fan of you exploring the use of nuclear weapons in your storylines. It is a line no writers want to cross because it is so difficult to conceptualise what happens next.

You better not vanish for 3 months now!!!

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby Chinmayanand » 28 Dec 2014 15:41

Great write-up !!! Well bakis nuking lahore :eek: :eek: :eek: Bakis being bakis can do anything . They might nuke arrah too in their pee-hard against kufr...

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby Thakur_B » 28 Dec 2014 17:57

Vivek Ji, the radiation signatures are unique for every warhead type. False flag nuke attack would convince no one other than the gullible.

Edit: Nations have long tried to acquire vegetation samples from near nuke test sites to affirm the signatures. The signature reveals the 'blend' of the maal and it's theoritical effectiveness. I remember that one of the western tourist travelling across USSR on state invitation was asked to bring home some leaves near the blast sites but he refused to do so. Also, Bakis have been trying for several years to get sand and vegetation samples from Pokhran, hence the extremely strict vigil around the site till date.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 29 Dec 2014 20:17

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WEST OF LAHORE
DAY 2 + 0942 HRS


Grewal woke to find his parachute tugging and dragging him with the wind. He tried to get his bearings and then snapped open the parachute harness, causing it to drift away into the dusty winds.

He looked around and saw that he was half-immersed into the waters of this filthy lake. Two dozen meters of drag marks in the mud followed away from his feet along the lake perimeter. His flightsuit was ripped in several places and he had bruises in all those openings. But his sidearm was still nearby. He grabbed it urgently and checked the pistol. It had a full ammo clip and it cocked with the right amount of ‘click’ noise. That made him feel a little better, even if it were mostly psychological. A pistol with a single clip wasn’t going to prove much help in the midst of enemy territory if he were found…

And then it hit him. He scampered around a full circle and then finally spotted it. The massive mushroom cloud to the east rising peacefully into the blue skies above. The grey clouds nearby had been parted into a clean circle by the shockwave. The smoke and dust cloud was gradually shifting into the winds, oblivious to the terror it had unleashed to those it had touched.

Grewal knew he needed a radio to get in touch with friendly forces. He also needed to get away from here as soon as he could. If his parachute had been spotted descending into this area, the Pakis would be out looking to skin him alive.

Grewal picked himself up and then staggered towards the shrubs nearby. His mind was running on hyper speed: Maybe they might be distracted by the nuke enough to…

The nearby waters of the lake rippled under the impact of rifle bullets and the distinctive “whimp” noises of supersonic rifle rounds passing by told Grewal that his hopes for evasion were dashed already. The distant crackle of rifle fire showed him where the threat was. He saw a bunch of civilians and soldiers approaching him from the other side of the lake. The civilians were armed with what looked like knives and machete-like weapons and the soldiers were advancing towards him and taking shots in between.

Grewal ran faster than he had in his entire life. Fear gave him wings. He had no illusion of what would happen to him if he was caught by this mob of frenzied civilians and soldiers looking for a scapegoat for what had just transpired. But it was easier said than done. He was on an open field near the lake and the nearest trees were a hundred meters away and up a gentle climb. Maybe if he got into the trees, there was a chance to escape. But up that gentle slope and he would be target practice for the Pak soldiers chasing him.

Anything was better than sitting here. He was about to make a run for it when a rifle bullet sliced through his thigh and another through his left arm almost simultaneously. He heard the distinctive crushing noise of bullets shattering his bones. A split second later he was smack on the ground and tasting mud in his mouth. His vision blurred.

He tried to crawl away, but it was no use. He changed his orientation and saw the soldiers and the mob running up to him, frothing in anger. Just waiting to tear him limb by limb using their dull knives.

“Like hell!”

He pulled out his pistol and took aim with his right arm and pulled the trigger. The two soldiers closest to him were taken by surprise by what they thought was a dying prey. The lead soldier took two rounds straight in his chest and fell on his back, splattering blood on the civilians behind him. The other soldier took one round straight to the cheek and flipped and fell into the water of the lake with a splash. The others took ran for cover and to take up firing positions to finish off this vengeful prey.

Grewal knew the end was near. He prepared for the impact of heavy rifle bullets that would end his life violently. Horror gripped his soul at what was about to transpire…

The massive series of “whumps” caught everyone by surprise. The civilians charging up to Grewal with their knives were the first to receive multiple hits. They went down like a sack of coal all around Grewal’s prone body. One went down on top of him because of the forward momentum, causing Grewal to moan from the injured arm.

The other Pakistani soldiers nearby immediately turned to their attention to the other side of the lake to face this new threat. Two of them went down before ever being able to identify their foe in the trees on the other side. The flash of gunfire and the “whumps” of rifle rounds slicing through their bodies with a faintly wet thump was music to Grewal’s ears. The Pakistanis returned rifle fire into the trees and branches and leaves fell from that, but the shadows obscured their enemies. In their haste to capture the cornered Indian pilot, they had run across the very same open field that had exposed Grewal. And now they were being hunted. With no place to hide, the results were predetermined…

Several more bursts of fire and the last of the Pakistani soldiers was silenced. For a couple of minutes, Grewal struggled to get the body of the dead civilian in salwar kameez off him. But it wasn’t easy with only one arm. He moaned in his efforts but the dead body would not budge.

And then he heard the clearest sounds in Hindi that he would ever be grateful for in his life. It was then that he knew he was in the presence of friendlies. A few moments later he saw the camouflaged face of an Indian special forces trooper hovering over him as he lifted the dead Pakistani off and tossed his body aside. Grewal could not control his tears as the soldier offered his gloved hand to him in a gesture to help him up:

“Come on, sir. Time to get you out of here.”

Grewal took the offered hand and got up, hobbling on his one good leg. He scrutinized the special forces team members around him but could not spot any national markings or insignia on their uniforms or equipment. But the Indian-made rifles and comms gear were clear enough. As was their chatter in Hindi and English as they walked around the dead Pakistani soldiers, punching pistol rounds into whoever had survived, civilian or otherwise…

“Who are you?” Grewal asked sheepishly.

The medic tending to him did not reply. But one of the taller soldiers walked over wearing his boonie hat. His face was camouflaged in streaks of green and brown just like the others, but he seemed to be carrying gear meant for a team leader. His posture confirmed this assumption.

“You are in the company of friendlies, sir. And you are extremely lucky that we happened to be in the neighborhood, hunting targets. We saw the explosion and then later saw your chute descending about the same time as these ba$tards did,” he kicked the dead Pakistani on the ground next to his feet, “Looks like we got here just in time now, didn’t we?”

Grewal breathed a sigh of relief. His heart was still pounding away in his chest and despite the cold weather, he was sweating from the whole experience. “I owe you and your men my life!” He said finally. “If you had been a few seconds late…”

Pathanya nodded and smiled in sympathy. He understood what Grewal was saying. He had no illusions about the barbarians they were dealing with out here.
“What’s your name? Rank?” Grewal asked. “SOCOM?”

“Can’t share any details, sir. And we need to get out of here right now, but I am Major Pathanya and these are my men. Welcome to the Pathfinders!”

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby chaanakya » 29 Dec 2014 20:33

Whoooooosh.. Major Pathanya........ Welcome Pathfinders.


Gimme more.....

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby RamaY » 29 Dec 2014 20:34

Hope Pakistan ends in 2014!

Great writing Vivekji as always.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby Pratyush » 29 Dec 2014 21:12

:P Yama i would say it ends with 2014. :P

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby surinder » 29 Dec 2014 22:50

Garg wrote:An attack on New Delhi is certain in this war. And not only Delhi, but other cities too.

The anti-missile systems are not deployed in India. The old systems will not be effective.

This warning is from somebody who can see the future.


Where is this warning coming from?

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 30 Dec 2014 10:51

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MURIDKE
NORTH OF LAHORE
DAY 2 + 1030 HRS


Haider walked past the soldiers sitting in the stairwell of the house and on to the flat roof. He found several of his guards as well as some of the staff officers perched there with binoculars. They were staring in silence as the brown-grey mushroom cloud dissipated into the wind to the south.

This rooftop was a clear vantage point for the area, being the highest one around. Some of his communications troops had set up VHF antennae on the top to allow them to talk securely with the 6TH Armored Division unit north and east of here, fighting Indian forces in the relatively open areas north of Lahore. Haider found Akram and Saadat kneeling besides some battlefield computers that they had set up on the floor of the rooftop terrace.

“Well?” Haider asked as he walked up behind the two officers.

“Comms established with the 6TH Armored,” Akram said without looking away from his monitor, “and they are patching us through to Corps and Command links. We should be online shortly.”
Haider crossed his arms. His next moves weren’t exactly clear to him at this time. When he had been tasked to hold Lahore, that had been a clear objective that he had hoped to keep on until the end of the war. Now, that order had been superseded by the one he had just executed. And that had left him without a clear purpose. He had just terminated the lives of thousands of jihadists, civilians and enemy soldiers and had flattened and irradiated one of the most culturally symbolic cities of his country. But now he was purposeless, and left hoping that the plan Hussein had asked him to enact would work…

Or not.

If it didn’t work, he would be left sitting here in the dust covered villages while the full scale nuclear war raged around him. As the commander who once led the ISI in peacetime and now a field commander of the volunteer jihadist units, he was not a passive man. He needed to control the flow of events. Sitting here in a random village and cut out of the inner loop that Hussein had around him, was a bit too much of a reversal in his fortunes for his liking.

And that just won’t do! He reminded himself as he watched his officers trying to get him back on the command net.

The problem was, he couldn’t just get on the phone with Hussein and ask him “what next?”. Plausible deniability was the name of the game now. The news outlets and world media were already reporting the nuclear detonation in Lahore. And it was clear that nobody could claim decisively on who carried out the attack. Both sides were already blaming each other. And until a forensic analysis was done to determine that the fissile fuel used in the detonation came from Pakistan, the charade would continue. Now the Indians would have to respond either by declaring a ceasefire to prevent a worse outcome, taking the destruction of Lahore as retribution for Mumbai or continue the fight. If they did the latter, Hussein could claim provocation in the destruction of Lahore by Indian warheads and strike first. The international community would be too busy demanding both sides to back down to actually do anything. After all, he was only defending his country against a massive invasion by its much larger neighbor, wasn’t he?

But what it meant for Haider was what Haider wanted to know, first and foremost. He wasn’t going to allow Hussein to leave him hanging out to dry when all this went down. Maybe he had wanted Haider to die in the explosion instead of trying to pull his units out. After all, that would have been more convincing to the world if the Pakistani civilians and military defenders died along with the explosion. If the Indians had taken images of his convoys leaving the city before the explosion, then that was a clear sign of culpability, no?

Knowing what Haider knew, both about the strike on Mumbai and the ISI’s hand in it as well as the detonation inside Lahore, Hussein very clearly expected him to take the fall and martyr himself, ensuring that his secrets would never make it into the Indian or western hands. But Haider had had other plans. He wasn’t about to martyr himself for Hussein or for anyone for that matter. No. He was alive and well.

The only question was: how would Hussein react when he found out?

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 30 Dec 2014 10:54

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SOUTH OF RAHIM YAR KHAN
DAY 2 + 1100 HRS


“All units this net: this is steel-central! Condition red! Condition red! Nuclear warfare conditions have been declared. All task forces report N-B-C red-con status! Over!”

Kulkarni’s heart missed a beat as that came through. At first he thought it was a mistake. It had to be! But his brain told him otherwise. This was no mistake. They were now in a nuclear war.

All sorts of questions raced through his mind overriding the urban combat enveloping his forces at that moment. Had the Pakistanis nuked Indian cities? Or Indian forces? How bad was it? Or was it just a warning for something that was about to happen?

The metallic clang from outside his turret and the recoil of his main tank gun reminded him that everything and anything else would have to wait. The battle for Rahim Yar Khan was in full force. And nuclear warfare or not, Kulkarni’s biggest threats were the hand launched anti-tank missiles and the lurking Pakistani T-80s in the alleys and roads inside the town. He did check that the ABAMS screen confirmed to him that all Arjun tanks were reporting buttoned-down and sealed conditions….those that were still alive and fighting, anyway. So he pulled him his comms speaker just as the shadow of an Apache helicopter momentarily covered his sights and the whump-whump-whump of its rotors dissipated away:

“Rhino-actual to steel-central: reporting N-B-C red-con active across the board. Over.”

That verbal message caused his gunner and loader to share looks at each other for a brief moment before they went back to fighting the enemy. Whatever it was that had caused the nuclear conditions to be declared, it would have to wait. The enemy inside Rahim Yar Khan had to be crushed first. Rhino would not be denied its objective of securing the strategic highway beyond the town!

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby Chinmayanand » 30 Dec 2014 12:48

Some more , please ....

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vila » 31 Dec 2014 18:08

Vivek Sir, Some year end fireworks :D

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 31 Dec 2014 22:26

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SKIES ABOVE MADHYA PRADESH
INDIA
DAY 2 + 1120 HRS


“They did what?” Ravoof said as he leaned forward on his seat.

“You heard me the first time, sir.” General Potgam said from his operations center. He was on one of the monitor screens in the conference room on board the air-forces Boeing-737 BBJ airborne comms aircraft. This aircraft was currently ferrying the top cabinet and military commanders of the Indian government in case New-Delhi went down in a nuclear attack. That the attack was expected was not surprising to anyone in the conference room. That it had struck one of Pakistan’s largest cities, was beyond comprehension.

“General,” Bafna said from his seat, his face a mask of fear, “did we do this? Was it one of your commanders?”
Potgam’s face contorted into one of rage. “How dare you?! My men died in the attack! In the hundreds! Maybe even thousands! How dare you insinuate that it was one of us! May I remind you, sir, that this is the Indian armed forces we are talking about!”

“We are not Pakistan, Bafna.” Ravoof said before the situation exploded. He knew Bafna to be a petty man who would not take his ego being struck down in this manner. He also knew Bafna had crossed the line in his remarks. Whether they were driven out of fear was no excuse. Not when the stakes were this high…

“But why would they destroy their own city to stop our forces?” The PM asked, his voice shaking as bad his hands, despite his attempts to hide it.

“Plausibility for a first-strike.” Basu said flatly from another screen. Like Potgam, he had also not evacuated from his office when the others had left for the safety of the skies. His work was better done from where he was. Cooped up in the skies inside a small cabin radically restricted his options and control of the RAW operations group. And now these operations were more critical than ever…

“Care to explain that?” Ravoof said on behalf of the others.

“Makes sense that they would do this, no?” Basu continued his musing. “Put yourself in Hussein’s shoes. They are losing this war. On all fronts. Our army has reached the critical highways deep inside their country. We are besieging all of their border towns and villages. The rampant call to arms for the jihadists has rendered thin the Pak army’s control on the country. And despite that the jihadists have only proven moderately useful against our forces. Instead we have indications that they are looting and pillaging the Pakistani towns on their way to the front. And all this scares the hell out of the senior Pak commanders. But if they launch the first strike with nuclear weapons, they are finished, aren’t they, General?”

Potgam nodded agreement. “We will crush them if they did that!”
“Exactly,” Basu continued. “And so would the rest of the world. Pakistan would cease to exist.”
“So what’s your point?” Bafna asked irritably.

“What if we were the ones who struck first? What if they made it look that we struck one of their major cities because we were unable to take it by conventional means? Or that we struck it in retribution for the Mumbai strike? The waters get muddy very quickly at that point, don’t they?”

Ravoof muttered an expletive as he got what Basu was getting at.

“This is a fu@king frame-up for a full nuclear strike!” Potgam noted. The PM just sank back in his seat.
“Or they are offering us a way out,” Basu added. “Lahore for Mumbai. Take it and quit while you are ahead. That’s what Hussein and his henchmen are saying to us.”
“Should we take it?” Bafna asked, turning to the PM, who looked like he had aged immensely since this crisis had begun weeks ago. Not getting anything other than silence, he turned to Ravoof, who shook his head:
“Take a peace deal under the threat of nuclear destruction?” He said to Bafna, “Is that really the message you want us to tell our citizens and the world?”

“We are not in the business of bartering for our cities.” Potgam said flatly. “We didn’t buckle to the threat of nuclear war against the Chinese when they had missiles aimed at every one of our cities and even used them, and we are sure as hell not going to buckle to this two-bit Hussein and his generals in Rawalpindi.” His voice carried an authority that was unusual to those in the cabinet. But then again, Potgam was a battle-hardened veteran of the China war from three years ago. He was not easily fazed. And his sense of purpose stood like a rock wall in the face of a tsunami of doubt. In a way it affected all those in the room. Ravoof and Basu both noted this effect.

“Let’s talk response.” The PM finally said in a soft, dejected voice.
“The Strategic Forces Command is fully online at this time.” Potgam replied. “We are at full launch readiness across the board. Nuclear warheads have been mated with delivery systems and we have strike packages of varying severity ready. We can choose to strike any or all targets depending on the level of escalation needed.”

“Now hold on,” Bafna jumped in, “you are talking a nuclear response! What about continuing our conventional attack? Wasn’t that the point of all this? To destroy Pakistan’s ability to wage war against us? And to prevent them from striking like they did on Mumbai? At what point did we start talking about destroying that entire country?!”

“Sir,” Potgam added menacingly, “that threshold was crossed by the enemy two hours ago. Whether you like it or not, we are now in a nuclear war with the enemy and we need to destroy him before he destroys us!”

Ravoof shook his head: “General, we are in reaction mode here. And that can be dangerous. We need to consider this objectively. So far, we have suffered a few hundred of our troops to this explosion in Lahore. Yes it has blunted our thrust on the Punjab front, but we are still penetrating deep on the other fronts. And the Pakistanis just destroyed their own city! Their own city, I should remind you. Not one of ours, discounting the Mumbai strike for a moment. If we are to strike, let’s strike towards our objective. The Pakistan air and naval forces are decimated to the point of ineffectiveness. Their army is putting up a fight but is losing ground on all fronts, but especially in the Rajasthan side. Their defenses in Kashmir are in shambles thanks to our massive strikes a week ago. We have struck their nuclear and conventional power plants and infrastructure and have broken their back. Isn’t this correct?”

Potgam nodded very slightly, his face still a frown because he could not tell what Ravoof was driving at.

“So,” Ravoof continued, “shouldn’t we stay the course and take out the senior Pakistani leadership behind this monstrous explosion over Lahore? Shouldn’t that continue to be our endgame scenario? With the assumption, of course, that if the Pakistanis escalate this with additional nuclear strikes against our military forces, we can destroy their country to the last city and town? If there is even the possibility of preventing further nuclear detonations in our neighborhood, shouldn’t we try it?”

Potgam sighed and shook his head. “I don’t fully agree with you, sir. But I do see your point.”
“So what the hell happened to Haider?” Bafna asked. “Wasn’t he the commander for the Lahore defenses? Basu, didn’t you have plans to locate and nab him?”
Basu leaned back in the seat in his office. “As per our original plans before all this mess today, we had a team near Lahore poised to try and locate Haider and his officers and if possible, to terminate his command. That plan is still in play.”

“To what end?” Ravoof asked. “Surely Haider is dead in this explosion?”
Basu shook his head: “If I know that son of a bitch, he will not allow himself to die that easily. He is used to sacrificing others for achieving goals. But he draws a clear line when it comes to self-preservation. He would rather let his nation fail miserably in the war against India but will not sacrifice himself to prevent it. He will toss as many bodies into the fire as needed, however. It’s just been his character since the time we have known the ba$tard.”

“So he is probably alive?” Bafna asked with a raised eyebrow revealing his surprise at what Basu had just stated.
“I would bet on it.” Basu nodded agreement. “He probably bugged out of Lahore just before he set off the detonation. He may be hiding somewhere outside the danger zone.”
“But you are not sure.” Ravoof stated it for the group.
“Correct. This is pure speculation on my part.”

“Is there any way to confirm it?” Bafna asked.
“Only if that ba$tard tries to talk to someone over military comms,” Potgam replied. “With Pakistani skies under relative control, Bhosale and his electronic warfare and signals intelligence crews are working with Basu’s ARC boys over the battlefields. If Haider tries to talk to someone in Rawalpindi, we might be able to get a sneak-peek into his whereabouts.”
“That’s rather thin to go on, General.” Ravoof said neutrally.

“It’s all we have.” Basu said before Potgam could. “But Haider is not one to sit out the war on the sidelines somewhere. So expect him to make some noise. We just have to trust that ba$tard to stay true to character.”

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby Chinmayanand » 31 Dec 2014 23:06

Wonderful !!! Can we get more ?

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby gkriish » 31 Dec 2014 23:23

Thanks Vivek and happy newyear BRF

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 01 Jan 2015 22:12

Image

SOUTHWEST OF RAHIM YAR KHAN
DAY 2 + 1435 HRS


“All rhino-alpha tanks! We are pushing on, on my mark!”
Kulkarni changed comms to his own tank: “Ready?”
The driver chimed back: “Ready, sir.”
“Then push on!”

The Arjun tank jerked forward and the engines rumbled and groaned as the vehicle began to move out of its position by the side of the east-west road. It pitched up as it crushed over some civilian cars abandoned by the fleeing Pakistani civilians in the town and then fell back on the road. Kulkarni and the others were holding on to the rails inside the turret to prevent themselves from being smashed against the equipment inside. Once they stabilized, Kulkarni pulled up Rhino comms again:

“Rhino-alpha tanks! Execute! Execute! Bash on to the highway!”

He checked his sights and rotating it a full circle to see that other tanks behind him were taking positions in the convoy along the road, merging in one behind the other to form a long line of tanks and other vehicles, moving west like a snake.

Kulkarni would have liked to spread the tanks out over a wider front than this road, but in this urban environment, the terrain prevented it. But one thing was sure, they could not wait for the fight for Rahim Yar Khan to end before pushing on to the strategic N5 highway west of the town. There was no more time. The nuclear threat had just materialized on the Punjab front with the detonation in eastern Lahore. It was only a matter of time before it might happen here. And Kulkarni wanted to reach his pre-war objectives before the Pakistanis sapped his strength with nuclear weapons. He wanted his tanks straddling the N5 highway to remind the enemy high command that this strategic lifeline had been cut by the Indians. It was intended to have as much psychological effect as real, forcing the enemy to realized that defeat was inevitable and near.

Kulkarni and Sudarshan also hoped that keeping the residual Pak army forces inside Rahim Yar Khan in close proximity to themselves would force the enemy high command to refrain from the use of nuclear warheads that might also destroy what forces they had out here. The Pak army units inside the town could not challenge Kulkarni’s heavy armor west of the town, but they served as useful hostages to help prevent any strikes on Rhino and Trishul task forces.

In theory, at least…Kulkarni reminded himself.

His tanks were now operating in NBC wartime conditions. The tank turret and crew compartments were sealed and all radiological and chemical sensors were active and running. The turret was also now operating in a positive air pressure environment to prevent outside particulates from entering inside. His turret would remain hatched now until the war was over or the nuclear threat had subsided.

A loud cyclic whumping noise overhead increased and then decreased. Kulkarni peered through his sights to see three air-force Apaches flying past them as they swept ahead of his columns to the west. These would act both as recon as well as anti-armor assets using their hellfire missiles.

“Those air force boys are having a fine day!” Kulkarni’s gunner responded. Kulkarni could make out a tint of jealousy in the man’s voice. That brought an increasingly-rare smile on his face, but he kept his peace. So the gunner continued for the benefit of the other crewmembers: “They take out the fun targets and leave us to sort through the shit looking for nuggets!”

Kulkarni knew this to be at least partly true. The Apaches had gone hunting T-80s inside and north of Rahim Yar Khan, eliminating what remained of the once-prestigious Pak 1ST Armored Division forces. They had encountered severe anti-air gunfire over Rahim Yar Khan and two Apaches had been destroyed in that fight. So now the air force had changed tactics. The Apaches were streaming far and wide over the open terrain west, north and south of the town, striking enemy rear columns and inbound convoys while the air force strike aircraft went over the town looking for hiding enemy tanks in the streets below.

“I can’t complain,” the loader added sheepishly. Kulkarni thought his voice had an innocent honesty to it.
The gunner sighed as though conceding to the point. “Neither can I.”

And neither could Kulkarni. As the overall Rhino force commander, he appreciated any and all help that was given to him by sister units and services. Even the air-force, he admitted to himself as though the impossible had happened in his mindset. But now that his own tanks were heavily depleted from combat attrition against heavy enemy forces and the fact that half his remaining force was bogged down besieging the town and protecting his flanks, the actual force he was leading to the strategic highway numbered no more than twenty tanks and about two dozen supporting vehicles from Trishul…

He realized if someone had offered him this force strength to hold the strategic target prior to the war, he would have questioned the competency of the officer involved. But here he was, pulling off the seemingly impossible.

Just another day…a voice in his head told him. Of course it is!

“Approaching the objective!” The driver said over the tank comms, jerking Kulkarni from his thoughts. He spotted it through his own sights almost at the same time as they cleared around some mud houses and exited the road, heading towards the highway.

The gunner’s response was instantaneous: “Shit!

Kulkarni had to agree. The N5 highway was clogged with civilian vehicles and massive numbers of civilians all over the place, making their way north and south: away from the approaching Indian forces…

The civilians saw the approaching Indian tanks at the same time and a panic spread through the crowds. Rumors had been spread by the jihadists that the Indians were gunning down civilians without regard, and that no one was safe. Kulkarni had heard that signals intelligence report a half hour ago over the Steel-central comms. Basically it was a recruiting tool, plain and simple. The Jihadists -and the Pak army- were saying to the able bodied men and women in the city to join the jihad to protect their families from certain death and to protect their Islamic lands.

The net result of that, however, was massive chaos and panic all along the highway as Kulkarni’s tank convoy began spreading out and approaching, their turrets sweeping left and right for possible targets in the mass of people in front of them. He saw the shrieks and screams in fear as people abandoned their belongings and vehicles on the jammed highway and ran west into the desert beyond the road. He also saw what looked like TV media vehicles parked a kilometer north on the highway, trying to leave but stuck in traffic…

“All Rhino-alpha tanks,” Kulkarni keyed his comms, “watch for enemy combatants within the civilian crowds here. Destroy what targets present themselves, but for god’s sake don’t shoot civilians while the media crews are filming the whole thing!”

His tank shuddered to a halt about thirty meters from the concrete of the highway.
“Driver, why are we halted?”

The driver chimed in: “Sir the road is clogged with vehicles.”
Kulkarni cocked an eyebrow in surprise: “So? Crush them! No better way to block this road than to have crushed vehicles and a sixty ton tank sitting on it!”
“Uh…copy! Hang on.”

The vehicle rumbled forward and accelerated towards the empty cars on the highway. The tank pitched up and then landed on the roof of the car with a massive crash, smashing the small sedan to pieces under its treads. Small pieces of the car flew in all directions as the Arjun accelerated over it to the next vehicle. Kulkarni could only imagine the hidden smile of the driver up in front. It was not every day that he got to do what he was doing now and had probably wanted to do for a long time…

Kulkarni rotated his sights north and south and saw civilians running away in long columns. He even saw what looked like some Pak soldiers removing their uniforms near a bus and changing into civilian clothes while being jeered at by civilians nearby, probably accusing them of cowardice. Many youngsters were busy taking pictures on their cell phones as other Arjun tanks followed Kulkarni’s lead and smashed and crashed their way on to the highway. Kulkarni’s own tank rumbled past to the other side of the highway and jerked to a stop. The gunner swiveled the turrets to look for Pak army or jihadist targets but found none.

Kulkarni switched comms: “Rhino-actual to steel-central. Over.”
“Steel-central copies, Rhino-actual. Send traffic. Over.”

“Steel-central, rhino-alpha is at waypoint ‘red’ and has secured it. I say again, we are at waypoint ‘red’ and are holding. Over.” Kulkarni was surprised at how anti-climactic this whole thing was. He might as well have been radioing in his food and water requirements…
“Good job, rhino-actual. Steel-actual sends his regards. Secure objective and stand by for further orders. Steel-central out.” The link chimed out.

“What do we do now, sir?” The gunner asked casually.
“Good question,” Kulkarni muttered. “I guess we hold this place until told otherwise. See any targets, you light them up, of course!”
“Of course.”

Kulkarni swiveled his sights and saw the other Arjun tanks also doing the same over a two kilometer stretch of the highway. He pressed some buttons on the ABAMS screen to orient part of his forces north and south, facing down the highway while his platoon of tanks faced west into the desert, wondering what was behind the visible horizon of wild bushes and trees. He saw the recon Apaches to the north as they flew past the highway heading east, probably to rearm and refuel, he speculated. And to the north, the flash and rumble of artillery passed through his tank. Brigadier Sudarshan was busy hammering targets north and south of where Rhino tanks were, but that was all above Kulkarni’s pay grade. He could only speculate unless Sudarshan decided to tell him something.

That made for a lonely afternoon of waiting. This was bad for many reasons. Not least of which was that it gave the initiative to the enemy. It pushed Rhino from being an initiator of death and destruction to a responder. It also added strain to his crews, who were wound up like a spring, ready to uncoil on the enemy. Now they had to sit and wait. And that could cause them to break. Kulkarni didn’t feel like speculating what “breaking down” meant when those men were sitting behind a long barrel tank gun…

As the Tunguska vehicles of Trishul force moved into position around the highway, assorted engineering and recon troops began pulling up from the east. Kulkarni saw explosions rocking the center of Rahim Yar Khan to the east, behind him. He could also hear the crackle of machine gun fire punctuating the air and tank rounds leaving their barrels.

Swiveling north, he caught sight of reporters, two kilometers away, talking in front of cameras pointed towards the Arjun tanks blocking the highway. He knew the Pak army commanders would be seeing all this. And the media would be reporting in short order that Indian armor forces had penetrated deep inside Pakistani territory and cut off the strategic N5 highway, splitting the Pak army defenses along the border into two. These two segments could no longer communicate physically along this north-south highway. They would either have to fight through Rhino tanks or maneuver further west into the desert and skirt around this blockade, adding to already over-blocked roads and highways. The ball was now neatly in the other court, as Kulkarni soon realized. And the reality of it all would settle into the Pak army minds soon enough.

His real question, however, was how would they respond?

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby jahaju » 01 Jan 2015 22:50

vivek_ahuja wrote:Image

WEST OF LAHORE
DAY 2 + 0942 HRS


Grewal woke to find his parachute tugging and dragging him with the wind. He tried to get his bearings and then snapped open the parachute harness, causing it to drift away into the dusty winds.

1)
And then it hit him. He scampered around a full circle and then finally spotted it. The massive mushroom cloud to the east rising peacefully into the blue skies above. The grey clouds nearby had been parted into a clean circle by the shockwave. The smoke and dust cloud was gradually shifting into the winds, oblivious to the terror it had unleashed to those it had touched.

Grewal knew he needed a radio to get in touch with friendly forces. He also needed to get away from here as soon as he could. If his parachute had been spotted descending into this area, the Pakis would be out looking to skin him alive.

Grewal picked himself up and then staggered towards the shrubs nearby. His mind was running on hyper speed: Maybe they might be distracted by the nuke enough to…


2)
Grewal ran faster than he had in his entire life. Fear gave him wings. He had no illusion of what would happen to him if he was caught by this mob of frenzied civilians and soldiers looking for a scapegoat for what had just transpired. But it was easier said than done. He was on an open field near the lake and the nearest trees were a hundred meters away and up a gentle climb. Maybe if he got into the trees, there was a chance to escape. But up that gentle slope and he would be target practice for the Pak soldiers chasing him.

Anything was better than sitting here. He was about to make a run for it when a rifle bullet sliced through his thigh and another through his left arm almost simultaneously. He heard the distinctive crushing noise of bullets shattering his bones. A split second later he was smack on the ground and tasting mud in his mouth. His vision blurred.



Sir, small nitpick, the bolded parts appear to contradict themselves.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby k prasad » 02 Jan 2015 08:19

jahaju wrote:
vivek_ahuja wrote:Image

WEST OF LAHORE
DAY 2 + 0942 HRS


... it hit him. He scampered around a full circle and then ....

Grewal picked himself up and then staggered towards the shrubs nearby. ...

Grewal ran faster than he had in his entire life. Fear gave him wings. He had no illusion of ...

Anything was better than sitting here. He was about to make a run for it when a rifle bullet sliced through his thigh ....



Sir, small nitpick, the bolded parts appear to contradict themselves.


Sirjee.... JMTC:

def: Scampered: run with quick light steps, especially through fear or excitement.

I think this answers why..... he's just ejected out of a doomed plane, he's disoriented and confused, and certainly has a few bangs and dents. But fear, we all know, pumps up the adrenaline and makes people do things they normlly wouldn't be able to. Which is what Vivek points out when he said, "Fear gave him wings". which is probably why Grewal could run so fast even if injured. It was for his life, after all.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 02 Jan 2015 10:25

Image

BBC NEWS BROADCAST
DAY 2 + 1445 HRS


“…And images released by the government of Pakistan via their embassies in the United States, the UK and over the social media show what amounts to be a small nuclear detonation in the eastern part of Lahore. The enveloping mushroom cloud emanating from the site of the explosion has brought back recollection of a similar event over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And as there, the human tragedy is just unfolding. Islamabad has released a press note stating that an Indian nuclear warhead has been detonated over Lahore and that civilians in the city have suffered staggering losses based on early reports.

“The Pakistani foreign office spokesman refused to state the military situation in the city except that their ground forces would continue to hold the Indians at bay despite New Delhi’s first use of nuclear weapons. He also reiterated that Pakistan would not be on the receiving end of nuclear terrorism by New Delhi and reserved the right to use its own weapons in self-defense. When asked about India’s ‘no-first-use’ policy on nuclear weapons, the spokesman stated in thinly veiled anger to “ask that to the citizens of Lahore who’s families and livelihood has just been destroyed by Indian nuclear aggression.

[This is a breaking story: click to update]
[LIVE: Press conference by the Indian External Affairs Minister on the Indian nuclear attack on Lahore. Click here to move to the official BBC news website footage]


“Official government websites and media remain hacked for a second week with no recovery in sight. The Pakistani government has accused the Indian military’s Cyber Warfare command for causing the breakdown in essential government communications to its citizens, leading to social chaos and anarchy in the country. The Indian government has ridiculed the notion and countered that Islamabad had barely working communications and social order to start with and that the widespread calls to jihad and rampant violence resulting from it is far more to blame. When asked, the Indian external affairs minister, Dr. Ravoof, called the idea that India was aiming to splinter and fragment Pakistan to pieces as “ridiculous” and “preposterous”.

“This has not stopped speculations in the media on the matter with Indian media channels leading the charge against New Delhi for what they are calling as a “war of aggression” against a “misguided” neighbor. Protests in New Delhi by the Islamic community against India’s “war on Islam” turned violent as protesters clashed with Hindu nationalists in the streets. Riot police resorted to the use of rubber bullets and tear gas. Reports stated that seventy five people have so far been killed in these riots in New Delhi and other cities.

“With Indian air strikes on most of Pakistan’s nuclear and coal powered power-plants, the already acute shortage of power in the country has been pushed over the edge. Electricity is down to mere couple hours a day in most cities in the country and the villages are in almost perpetual blackout. The doctors at the hospitals in Islamabad have stated that they are also beginning to run low on fuel for their backup generators and will soon be unable to function once those run out.

“The Pakistani and Indian military forces have been engaged in combat for a week in the state of Kashmir ever since India launched massive cross-border air and artillery strikes against what it called were terrorist training camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. This was preceded by the terrorist nuclear strike against Mumbai which New Delhi accuses the Pakistani ISI of sponsoring and abetting. Since then, the skirmishes in Kashmir have intensified and have broken into full scale war between the two nations. The Pakistani military is widely seen to be losing ground to the massive onslaught by Indian forces driven by vengeance for the Mumbai strike.

“The Pakistani ambassador in Washington has stated that the nuclear strike on Lahore was India’s way of reaping revenge against the innocents in Pakistan to cover up New Delhi’s failure of apprehending the culprits behind the Mumbai attack. He also stated that an attack such as this on one of the major cities of Pakistan would “not go unanswered”. He asked New Delhi to put an end to this ceaseless violence and pull back its forces across the international border to indicate its willingness for peace. He denied to respond to questions from the media on whether this attack on Lahore would lead to a nuclear counter-response from Pakistan’s military. He said that since New Delhi had “triggered the nuclear option”, Islamabad could not be held responsible if it felt it had to do the same to protect itself…”
Last edited by vivek_ahuja on 02 Jan 2015 10:31, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 02 Jan 2015 10:30

Image

PUNE
INDIA
DAY 2 + 1450 HRS


“As I have stated previously, the notion that we had anything to do with the nuclear detonation in Lahore is ludicrous!” Ravoof repeated for what he felt was the hundredth time in this press conference. “The Indian armed forces had nothing to do with the attack. We can only presume that the explosion in Lahore was done by the same individuals who carried out the attack on Mumbai. The patterns are the same and so are the radiological signatures. Let me make this very clear:” he paused for effect, “this was not an Indian bomb. Period.”

He looked around to see the faces of the massed media personnel and cameras pointed to him and hoped that his body language was convincing. It had to be. Any indication of doubt on such a stage and the rumors and accusations from Islamabad would take a life of their own. He did not want to get into a pissing contest with Pakistan with accusations and counter-accusations in spite of the facts.

“Yes.” He pointed to a raised hand from the journalists. It was one of the BBC correspondents sent to India to be the point man for this crisis.
“Can you comment on the rumors that India has carried out this nuclear attack in response to the massive resistance its forces have been encountering from the jihadists and the Pakistani army inside Lahore?”

Ravoof shook his head and tried to control his anger. The BBC was running the charge that India was behind the nuclear attack and they were sticking to it despite whatever he said or presented as facts…

“I have no comments on the military situation in Lahore. And I doubt our combined forces press conference in an hour will have anything else to add regarding ongoing operations. But as far as the Indian forces are concerned, I should remind you that we have taken casualties in this explosion. The numbers are still rolling in and the list is long. So while self-infliction of wounds might be a strategy that Islamabad allows, we don’t do that. If this had been our handiwork, it would have been far more surgical, I assure you!”

Ravoof chided himself internally for that last remark. His tongue had slipped on account of the anger bubbling inside him seeing how the media were out like ravenous wolves looking to implicate the “big bad neighbor” India and let Pakistan run with its concocted story. The Pakistanis were masters of lying through their teeth on the world stage, often in face of damning evidence to the contrary. India wasn’t nearly as good as that. The smile at the corner of the BBC correspondent confirmed to Ravoof that his mistake had been caught by the eyes of the media…

“Next question.” Ravoof said, trying to move on. But the damage was done. The hands in the room raised in a flurry. He picked one at random. An Indian journalist this time:
“What is the Indian government’s stand on withdrawing its forces back across the border, as Islamabad has demanded?”

“We will not respond to terrorism threats!” Ravoof stated flatly. “Our objectives are clear. The Pakistani military under the leadership of General Hussein and other senior commanders have taken the onus of harboring and protecting the terrorists who struck Mumbai. They armed them with nuclear weapons to wreak carnage on a civilian population. They will be made to regret this decision. Our forces will destroy Pakistan’s ability to harbor terrorists as instruments of state policy. We are not after land or territorial gains here. But we will destroy Pakistan’s military threat to our country. If the Pakistanis want to prevent this, they need to hand over the remaining survivors of the group that planned and executed the attack on Mumbai. We know the senior ISI commanders who were involved.

"Unless they are handed over to face trials for waging nuclear terrorism and murder of innocent civilians, there is nothing to say that will get us to back off from achieving our objectives.”

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby arshyam » 02 Jan 2015 10:54

Vivek sir, one suggestion: You may not want to name any media outlet by name, for legal reasons. In such situations, a lot of authors use a fictional but thinly veiled name that conveys the meaning to the reader. I hope you have considered that.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby Nitesh » 02 Jan 2015 18:24

Vivek garu, your scenario has partially came true. Coast guard has decimated pakis taking cargo towards India

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby chaanakya » 02 Jan 2015 20:52

There was a scenario written on BRF exactly on this line indicating that terrorist carried Nukes on board to Mumbai by our own Vivek Ahuja in "Fenix"

viewtopic.php?p=1588765#p1588765

Kudos to Vivek.

But I dread to think what future you would be foretelling us.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 03 Jan 2015 13:18

Arshyam,

Yes I intend to change some of the names of organizations etc in the print version of the novel. I appreciate the feedback.

Jahaju,

It is as k prasad explained, but I will make that clearer in the printed edit. Thanks!

Chaanakya,

I was surprised by that as well. The entire description of the coast guard intercept felt like it had been lifted from the first chapter of this scenario (as you have linked). This thread is called "Possible Indian Military Scenarios", so hopefully we are continuing to keep it realistic with these scenarios.

Its not something that I wish to see happen in real life, of course. But I think it helps the credibility of this thread if we stay ahead of the curve, don't you agree?

-Vivek
Last edited by vivek_ahuja on 03 Jan 2015 13:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 03 Jan 2015 13:24

Image

WEST OF LAHORE
DAY 2 + 1542 HRS


“Not much of a conversationalist, are you?” Grewal said and then winced at the pain from the bullet wounds. The medic treating him was not being gentle about it. Pathanya stood over the two men and watched impassively. Grewal looked around and saw the other men on perimeter security in this wooded area. Vikram and a couple others were fixing the smudged camo face paint streaks on their cheeks under guidance from each other. The afternoon sunlight was casting rays through the windy leaves above them. No one said anything beyond what was required to do their jobs.

Grewal sighed. He understood from what he saw that these men were exhausted or near to it. Staying on constant vigil inside enemy territory where every man, woman and child was intent on killing you without hesitation, will take its toll on anyone. The strain of combat compounded the exhaustion.

Not to mention having a wounded air-force pilot to take care of…a voice in Grewal’s head told him. He was fully aware of his inability to keep up with the Pathfinders even under what he considered his “peak condition”. With a broken shoulder and a bullet wound in one leg, he had no doubts that he was a hindrance to whatever these men were doing out here. At least he considered himself better armed now, having picked up one of the G3 rifles with iron sights and some extra magazines from the dead Pakistani Rangers from his former drop zone.

“Major Pathanya,” Grewal said finally to the towering figure standing near him, “before you rescued me, I was unable to get in touch with my operations people. I am pretty sure they think I have perished in the detonation over Lahore. Perhaps if we can send a word out to your operations center to allow me to be evacuated and allow your men to return to your existing mission…?”

Pathanya kneeled on one knee and tucked his rifle the other way on his chest. “Sir, our original mission doesn’t exist anymore. Not after this.” He cocked his eyes to the hanging dust clouds over Lahore. “We will arrange a pickup as soon as possible. But I intend to get all of my men out as well. There is nothing left for us here. Not anymore.”

“What was your original mission?” Grewal asked, half-expecting to be ignored.

Pathanya sighed and got up on his feet, pulling his rifle in closer. “Sir, our original mission was to kill or capture a critical individual responsible for orchestrating the nuclear attack on Mumbai. This individual was also in charge of the jihadist forces inside Lahore as well as the overall commander for the city. Our secondary objective was to cause general mayhem within the enemy logistics network for the Lahore front in conjunction with the air force bombers.”

Grewal smiled. “So you were our eyes and ears behind enemy lines, eh? I was flying escort missions with my squadron protecting the same bombers that you were helping to guide in to their targets. Small world.”

“Small world, indeed.” Pathanya returned the brief smile.
“This nuclear detonation in Lahore,” Grewal said as he pulled himself up into sitting position against a tree, “was orchestrated by the Pakistani high command. Hussein himself probably. Trying to either implicate us before using their first strike options or giving us a backhand way out.”

“An eye for an eye?” Pathanya said as his smile gave way to something more sinister. Grewal saw it in his eyes. The Pathfinders weren’t looking for an eye. They were looking for heads on a platter. He could only wonder whose command they were under and what their mandate was…

“An eye for an eye.” Grewal nodded. “Yesterday night, I was on a mission deep inside Pakistani airspace when we found that the Pakistanis were attempting to use airliners to fly their civilians out of the country. That could have only meant one thing.”

“So we knew this was about to happen?” Pathanya asked incredulously as he pointed an arm towards Lahore. Grewal could only tilt his head in a way that said: ‘probably’.
“And then this morning,” Grewal winced again as the pain shot up in waves from his thigh to his arm, “I saw on my designator pod that the Pakistanis were moving large medical evacuation convoys out of the city towards the north, twenty minutes before the detonation in eastern Lahore.”

Pathanya was nodding until it hit him. “What did you say about the medical convoys? That they left the city before the explosion?”
“That’s what it looked like. Why?”

Pathanya smiled in that weird way that Vikram and Kamidalla quietly recognized to mean ‘son of a bitch!’. And then he said it out loud. Grewal looked at the others in surprise but didn’t see any answers there. Pathanya knelt beside him and then removed a folded paper map of the area from his thigh pocket and unfolded it over Grewal’s legs.

“Sir,” he said after handing Gerwal a small black marker pencil, “can you show me here exactly where you saw the medical convoys heading before you were shot down?”

Grewal looked at Pathanya and then Vikram and Kamidalla as they strode over and knelt beside the map on the other side. They stowed away their rifles and then removed their own paper maps as well. Grewal shrugged and then took the map from Pathanya, studying it and acquainting himself with the orientation and scale. Several quiet seconds later he pointed to a location in western Lahore:

“Right here,” he said as rounded the location using the pencil, “is what we believed was their command center. That was determined using triangulation of enemy comms signals over the past day and a half. It was bombed using laser guided munitions about thirty minutes prior to the nuclear detonation. And right here,” he moved his pencil on the translucent paper about one block north, “is where I spotted what I believe was a field hospital operated by the Pak army.”

Pathanya nodded as he studied the locations being marked by Grewal.
“And the convoys leaving the area?”

“They were,” Grewal said and then peered closer at the roads leaving Lahore, “right along here. Heading north and leaving the area.”
“The ba$tards bugged out of the city before the explosion!” Vikram said and Pathanya nodded: “I wouldn’t have expected anything less from him!”

Grewal looked at the camo painted faces talking around him and then just blurted it out: “Gentlemen, forgive me for breach of protocol here, but was your target Lt-General Haider? Is that why you are here?”

Vikram raised an eyebrow at Pathanya but said nothing. The latter simply lifted the map from Grewal’s legs and then folded it into neat squares. Vikram and Kamidalla took the cue and did the same. Pathanya realized, however, that he couldn’t just treat the air-force officer this way. He was senior to them, after all.

“Yes sir. We have reason to believe that he was closely involved with the arming of the terrorists that struck Mumbai with nuclear weapons.” He let that sink in and noted that Grewal understood. “And I also believe that General Haider is not only alive, but is hiding with his close officers within these medical convoys you saw heading north.”

“That’s a breach of the Geneva convention!” Grewal blurted in anger.

“Wouldn’t be the first time for that son of a bitch,” Vikram noted before he was shot a glare by Pathanya that said: ‘check that attitude in front of a senior officer!’
Grewal knew the answer, but asked anyway: “So what does this all mean for you?”

Pathanya took a deep breath and faced Grewal: “Just that our mission is still alive and kicking somewhere northwest of Lahore. But he won’t be for long!”

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby deejay » 03 Jan 2015 16:08

Vivek Saar, in one of the previous posts where you bring the BBC broad cast you mention this:

“This has not stopped speculations in the media on the matter with Indian media channels leading the charge against New Delhi for what they are calling as a “war of aggression” against a “misguided” neighbor


In the current Coast Guard hunt of the Paki boat, even this has come true.

You have another significant mention in the same post:
Protests in New Delhi by the Islamic community against India’s “war on Islam” turned violent as protesters clashed with Hindu nationalists in the streets. Riot police resorted to the use of rubber bullets and tear gas. Reports stated that seventy five people have so far been killed in these riots in New Delhi and other cities.


I am really watching out for this development even in part. Your whole scenario is playing out, a little differently, but it is happening. Characters and end results have been different but significant events and role of major groups are coming true.

Seldonesque!. Really. :-o :)

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby Bala Vignesh » 03 Jan 2015 22:01

I guess paki's are really out of ideas and are copy pasting your ideas as thei own after a brainstorming sessions...

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 03 Jan 2015 22:23

Bala Vignesh wrote:I guess paki's are really out of ideas and are copy pasting your ideas as thei own after a brainstorming sessions...


If that is the case, I wish they would show some initiative for once...

...and jump ahead in the novel by 250 pages and nuke Lahore as prescribed, bypassing all other stuff in between! :D

-Vivek

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 04 Jan 2015 12:26

Image

PALAM AIR FORCE BASE
NEW DELHI
DAY 2 + 1550 HRS


The Gulfstream-III aircraft landed gingerly on the concrete runway, sending off puffs of smoke from the main undercarriage tires. As the nose wheel rotated down and touched the runway, the two engines on the side roared and the aircraft began slowing down. Within seconds it had rotated off the busy runway and moved off on to the taxiways taking it to the secure tarmac meant for the aircraft operated by the RAW under the ludicrously generic title “Aviation Research Centre”, or ARC for short.

This particular aircraft specialized in Signals Intelligence or SIGINT. As such, the aircraft was fitted out with a mass of specialized and advanced signals collection and processing equipment. The aircraft was flown by former air-force pilots and during wartime, the aircraft of the ARC were integrated into the overall air-force ISR network. Nobody operated alone in the modern battlefield, and the days of daring and freelancing ARC intelligence missions were over.

Even so, the ARC maintained a remarkable amount of independence and flexibility despite the pressure from the air-force brass to conform to their methods. This aircraft was no different. While the official military intelligence units were collaborating resources on collecting signals data on the enemy, this aircraft and its crew were on a different, secretive tasking. All that the pilot of this aircraft had said to the Phalcon radar operators was their operational and flight requirements. The air-force radar operators on the AWACS hadn’t asked any more questions. They were ordered not to.

And that had led to yet another six hour mission monitoring enemy signals and collecting data whilst flying over enemy airspace. It takes some special courage to fly unarmed, modified business jets over enemy airspace during wartime. But the ARC crews were no novices. Both pilots on this aircraft were former wing-commander rank officers in the air-force with thousands of hours of military flying experience within them. As they switched off equipment on board and the engines wound down, the intelligence crew in the cabin behind them were rubbing their eyes and stretching their arms and legs. These long, monotonous missions could take their toll and fatigue level was high. The ARC didn’t have dual crews for each surveillance aircraft like the way the air-force did for their tankers and airborne radar aircraft. After all, the ARC was not the air-force. It wasn’t meant to fly continuous combat missions. But as with each war in history, this one was different. And they had been requisitioned.

A small gray van, painted to look like a standard air-force crew transport vehicle, pulled up next to the aircraft just as the flight crew members began walking out in their green overalls and small personal bags. The tiredness in their eyes was apparent. They wouldn’t be flying again for the rest of the day today…they hoped!

Other vehicles were already pulling up to refuel the aircraft, remove the massive amount of signals data collected and processed on board and take it all to the ARC data processing center located on site at the airbase. While the flight crew went to bed and dozed off, the RAW data analysts would get to work. And their work would lead to a new mission later that night for the flight crew. After all, that was how they had operated during the two weeks of the China war three years ago.

But the nuclear detonation in Lahore had changed all that. Now every minute counted. And the departing flight crew saw that when they noticed the speed with which their data was being collected for analysis by the ground crews. Well, that made sense…they reasoned to one another. After all, their aircraft had been airborne south of Lahore collecting data on important communications between the Pak army commanders and the jihadist leaders from just before the nuclear explosion over Lahore to well afterwards.

But what the crews didn’t know was that their data was being used to determine the whereabouts of someone very special to RAW. And if that someone had gotten on the Pak army command comms during the time this aircraft had been aloft, his whereabouts might just be hidden like a needle in the proverbial haystack of information that was on board this aircraft…
Last edited by vivek_ahuja on 04 Jan 2015 12:32, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 04 Jan 2015 12:27

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Last edited by vivek_ahuja on 04 Jan 2015 12:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 04 Jan 2015 12:27

Image

MURIDKE
NORTH OF LAHORE
DAY 2 + 1620 HRS


Haider looked at the sky above to see the white contrails of jet fighters. The rumble of their engines was all around them. To the west, two black columns of smoke indicated some Al-Khalid tanks from the 6TH Armored Division that had just been struck by bombs dropped by these aircraft. He turned to see the swishing trail of a shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile as it leapt after the contrails far above. It would never get that far up. Haider interpreted it as a sign of frustration by the anti-air troops of the division. Having struck down the long-range missile batteries with Brahmos missiles, the high-flying Indian fighters and bombers were under no real threat from below. The days of flying low with unguided munitions were long past. Even helicopters these days had the range and sense to stay away and launch attacks using guided missiles. Both the Indian and Pakistani armies were learning this the hard way in this war…

“How far out at the Indians,” Haider said as he pulled up his binoculars and looked east. They were standing atop one of the buildings serving as a field hospital for the battered defenders of Lahore.
“About twelve kilometers due east,” Akram said without looking away from his own optics. “The 6TH Armored is putting up a stiff fight.”

“Hardly surprising,” Haider said as he lowered his binoculars and rested them on the sidewall of the roof. “We knew the strengths of their Russian-supplied tanks and other vehicles for a long time now. The 6TH Armored is almost equally powerful to any of the Hindu counterparts. And out field artillery is much superior. But the pagans have more men and tanks than us.”
“And control of the skies,” Akram noted sourly.

Haider shook his head as though it was unbelievable how this had come to pass. “Yes. It appears that they have. And so our men will eventually be overrun and defeated by the massed enemy. But it was inevitable and we have known this for years. Which is why we have nuclear weapons of our own. What I cannot understand, however, is the rapid reversals in the desert. How are the Indians penetrating so far and wide to have cut off our major logistics arteries to the south?”

“No idea, sir.” Akram shook his head. “The Indian tank columns there are all battle-hardened veterans of the China war. Compared to our inexperienced crews as well as the ineffective T-90s of the Indian forces on this front, I believe the Indians in the Rahim Yar Khan front had a crucial advantage.”

“Perhaps,” Haider conceded. What he really wanted to know was how Hussein would respond. But cut off from the happenings in Rawalpindi, he could only speculate.
“We will strike them with nuclear warheads, won’t we, sir?” Akram asked quietly. He knew the operational plans for the Pak army under such dire conditions. He never did get a response from his commanding general. The latter simply picked up his optics and hung it around his neck.

A thundering crash to the north caused everyone on the rooftop and in the streets below to jerk in that direction. They turned just in time to see several black balls of smoke rising into the sky, several kilometers away. Licks of yellow-orange flames appeared within the smoke before they rose into a thick black column…

From the northeast, Akram spotted two black spots heading towards them.

Sir, look out!” Akram shouted as he leapt and tackled Haider to the floor just as the air around them was torn apart by fast-moving flashes of sparks and fire. Two Indian Jaguar strike aircraft flashed overhead, being chased by massive amounts of small arms fire from the soldiers in the streets below. The two aircraft flying at treetop level passed south without too much ado. The strafing attack was over just as abruptly and violently as it had started. The small arms fire stopped and shouts and screams filled the air.

Akram shook his head and rolled over on his back, shearing off chunks of concrete from the rooftop walls that had fallen all around them. The smell of spent gunpowder was in the air. He checked to see if all his limbs were still attached to his body and was relieved when they were. He turned to the side and watched Haider doing the same. That led to another relieved exhale and a small laugh brought on by the adrenaline in his body.

That was when the moaning from behind reached his ears. He turned around to see Captain Saadat squirming on the floor, his left wrist missing from his arm. Clumps of blood were everywhere where his hand should have been. Two other soldiers behind him had been shorn in pieces by the cannon rounds. The rooftop behind them was literally spattered red in blood and body parts.
“Saadat!” Akram leapt on his feet and slid next to the wounded man.

Haider was still gathering his bearings. He walked over to the sidewall of the roof and saw that it now had large holes punched into it at several places. He looked at the streets below and saw soldiers running around with stretchers and an ambulance ablaze. He could also see another ambulance with the front glass shattered and the driver’s compartment splattered red. He winced and turned away. His own rooftop was a bloody mess. He saw Akram and two medics trying to calm down a rabid Saadat who could see his wrist missing and was reacting in horror.

“So the gloves are off,” Haider muttered to himself. He realized that the strike on Lahore had cost the Indian military a lot of lives too. And they were out for revenge. Their own government would not allow them to strike first with nuclear weapons. So they were out seeking revenge the old fashioned way. Even field hospitals were not secure anymore. It never crossed Haider’s mind that he himself was using this military hospital as a shield. Hypocrisy ran deep in his psyche to a point where he never even recognized it anymore…

“Sir!” One of his radiomen ran up the stairs to the rooftop and looked around. He glanced at the blood and shattered bodies and was instantly silenced by the gore.
“Well?” Akram asked from where he was, holding Saadat down. “Speak, boy!”

The radioman tried to speak but instead just vomited and fell on his knees.

“God damn it!” Akram got up on his feet and walked over to the man, grabbing him by his shoulder harness and pulling him on his feet. “What was your message? Is this how you contribute to this jihad? By vomiting at the first sight of blood? Call yourself an Islamic warrior?!”

Haider sighed and raised his hand: “Major, please. Let the boy speak.”

The two officers looked at the radioman who was clearly overwhelmed. He closed his eyes and tried to recollect his thoughts before muttering: “Sir, I…we just lost contact with the 6TH Division headquarters. And we cannot raise them again. We are hearing complete chaos between the field units of the division. What should we do?”

Haider gritted his teeth and turned to Akram: “Those explosions we saw before the Indians strafed us. That must have been the divisional headquarters. The ba$tards decapitated that division just as it was moving into heavy contact with their tank columns!”

“Sir, what are your orders?” Akram asked as he released his grip on the radioman, who fell again on his knees and vomited some more.
Haider shook his head as he considered his options.

“Major, get your comms people together and send the word out for all surviving 6th Division staff and logistical columns to make their way to Muridke. We are establishing an ad-hoc command center here. Tell all field units the same. And inform them that Lt-general Haider is taking command for this front.

It’s time we put a stop to this rout!”

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby jahaju » 04 Jan 2015 15:28

just ordered chimera from flipkart. will be in my hands by 8th jan.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 05 Jan 2015 07:59

Image

NEW DELHI
DAY 2 + 1745 HRS


Colonel Ansari followed his civilian escort as they made their way through the building to its lower basement floors. This section of the RAW operations center was almost always hidden from the outside world except for a select few who worked within it. Ansari momentarily paused to look over the sudden change in the architecture in this section of the building. The interiors in here were far more modern and contrasted heavily with the much more colonial style design of government buildings just one floor above. Here the lighting changed to slight blue-white hidden along the ceilings, sliding glass doors designed for acoustic and electronic signal suppression, and centralized air conditioning given that there were no windows here.

He was led in by the civilian escort assigned to him by Basu so that they could meet in here rather than Basu’s office upstairs. That office is all that Ansari had seen inside this building during all of the secretive operations inside Tibet prior to, and in, the China war. He hadn’t even seen all this in the weeks past when he had been running mayhem against the jihadists in Kashmir. Seeing all this, he could only imagine what other secrets Basu kept close to his chest…

“Here we are.” His escort said as they turned a corner and reached a frosted glass door that had the words ‘Operations’ engraved on it. There were two heavily armed police guards outside, standing on each side of the door. Another man sat behind a desk, waiting to grant them access. As Ansari handed his badge to the security officer behind the desk, he glanced at the two armed guards. Not military, he surmised. Police or para-military personnel or simply RAW’s own security force? No way to tell.

“You are clear to proceed,” the man behind the desk said. The two doors parted aside. Ansari took his badge and walked in.

The internal room was much larger than the corridors outside suggested. There were large screens on the walls and a large conference room style glass partition room. A couple dozen people were moving back and forth between the conference room and the row of secure comms and other computer equipment. Ansari stood there, watching the impressive setup and feeling like a complete outsider. He was the only one in army fatigues in the room. All of these people were in civilian clothing…

“Ansari, over here!”

Ansari turned to see Basu waving him into the conference room. He walked over to find the diminutive RAW man with balding hair and a brown suit standing near the table as younger members of his team poured over maps and paper printouts of what looked like transcripts of conversations. Ansari smiled at that. RAW doing what it did best: behind the scenes dirty work.
“You made it,” Basu offered his hand, “good. Good.”

“Quite a setup you have here,” Ansari said with a deep breath. The RAW man just smiled in that typical schoolmaster smile of his which irritated Ansari to no end.
“All new, my friend.” Basu replied, still shaking Ansari’s hand. “They gave us all this after the China war. The government felt we needed to have more centralized operations for us to work smoother. But for old timers like me, this is over the top. These younger men here,” he waved at his staff near the table, “they will be able to make far better use of all this in the future when I am retired…or dead.” He winked with a smile.

“So, why am I here?” Ansari asked. He couldn’t hold his curiosity any longer. It wasn’t every day that Basu had him flown to this holiest of holy places for the RAW for an idle chit-chat. Especially in the middle of a war.
Basu waved the man over and pointed to the paper map on the table centralized around Lahore. “We have a possible location for you.”
“Haider?” Ansari asked as he leaned over the maps.
“Haider.” Basu nodded. “Our aircraft intercepted comms from what we believe is his current temporary headquarters north of Lahore, near this place called Muridke.”

“The ba$tard escaped before he nuked the city, didn’t he?” Ansari asked, his voice teeming in contempt. He had read the file on Haider many times in the past week. Basu nodded his affirmative.
“Indeed he did. True to his character. And now he has made his way here,” Basu pointed to the location marked Muridke. “Northwest of Lahore but well outside of the blast radius.”
“What is he doing there?” Ansari asked as he glanced over the comms transcripts.

“We don’t know,” Basu conceded. “His comms chatter suggests he might be trying to marshal his remaining jihadist forces there, or he might simply be waiting for orders from Hussein. Perhaps even waiting to wrangle some excuse to head west before the shit hits the fan and we all start nuking each other.”

“That bad, eh?” Ansari asked. He had seen the news on his way here.

Basu turned to him and crossed his arms. “We may only have hours before Hussein feels he cannot hold off the defeat. Our ground forces have secured large tracts of Pakistani land in the desert and near Punjab and our tanks have cut off the major N5 highway. It is all over the local Pakistani media and the panic is everywhere. We cut off all power by striking their nuclear and conventional power plants. Their cities are on the verge of breakdown with no power, jihadist rallies in the streets and our jets thundering in the skies above. The navy has cut off all sea access to Pakistan and Hussein and his commanders know this. They nuked Lahore as a backhanded way to let us off…and also as a way to cry victim as they are doing now.”

“But why Lahore?” Ansari asked. “The city’s value to the Paki Punjabis is immense, symbolically and otherwise. Why not lash out in the desert somewhere? Or on the Kashmir front?”

“Because it had to be a city,” Basu noted. “With the rapid successes of our military forces on all fronts except for Lahore, there would be no way to sell this as an Indian strike to the world. No one would buy it. It would make no sense. But Lahore, a city held stubbornly and bitterly by jihadists and the Pak forces, an Indian strike to break that resistance makes sense. Couple that with the equality that our own people impose between us and the Pakistanis, and the world is able to believe that we struck Lahore also as a retaliation for the strike on Mumbai. Only later, will the contents of the nuclear explosion reveal their source. But the Pakistanis will make sure no one gets any access over there. Ever.”

“And even if they do,” Ansari said as he tossed the papers back on the table, “it will be far too late to affect the outcome of today and tomorrow.”
“Exactly.”
“So we are still going after Haider?” Ansari asked, taking a deep breath.
“We are.” Basu replied. “If we can take him alive, we can put that ba$tard on trial. Maybe get him to confess everything.”

“And what if we can’t take him alive?”
Basu’s face turned grim: “Then he will answer to Allah, and we will take him off our target list and go to the next one above him.”


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