Pakistan removes third of army's border deployment
Suman Sharma / DNA, June 2, 2010
A recent assessment by the military intelligence (MI) of the Indian Army of the Pakistan Army’s deployment in a counter insurgency (CI) role in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) has concluded that 35% of Pakistan Army troops are engaged in that role, thereby creating ‘gaps’ or ‘holes’ on the Indo-Pak border.
In the assessment, presented at the Ambala-based 2 Strike Corps, it was acknowledged that the Indian Army is more than prepared to face any 26/11-type situation during the
Commonwealth Games in October, because the holding reserve forces of the Pakistan Army are not in full strength at the border. The assessment says the order of battle (Orbat) and deployment of Pakistani troops and their commitment to internal security duties have made the border porous.
Out of nine Pakistan Army brigades responsible for holding the border at the Shakargarh bulge, four are engaged in CI operations under ‘Op Al-Mizan’.
Former Indian Army chief Gen (retd) VP Malik says: “Pakistan doesn’t just use regular formations, but also uses militancy as a strategic weapon, going by the everyday incidents at the Line of Control. So the gaps at the border shouldn’t be a cause of concern.”
Going by the MI assessment, Pakistan’s total commitment in Al-Mizan has 5 infantry division headquarters, 14 infantry brigade headquarters, 39 infantry battalions, one artillery brigade headquarters, and 44 other units.
To maintain a balance between offensive and defensive formations, elements from the strike formations are also deployed in Al-Mizan. Pakistan has the Mangla-based 1 Corps as its strike corps (to launch offensives) in army reserve north (ARN), with its back-up in the Peshawar-based 11 Corps; the other strike corps is the Multan-based 2 Corps in army reserve south (ARS), with its back-up in the Quetta-based 12 Corps
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