What Does Pakistan Hope to Achieve with Nasr?
An answer for the question posed in the title can be hazarded along four levels: grand strategic, strategic, operational and tactical. There appears to be a contradiction in the implications of Nasr at these different levels. How Pakistan resolves these contradictions will determine how it will eventually employ the weapon system.
It would appear that the seeming advantages stated above are behind Pakistan’s development of Nasr. However, it is surely not an unmixed blessing. What are the cons?
At the tactical level, there are no empirical studies on the sociological impact of a nuclear battlefield. If combat cohesion breaks down, it will be as likely among Pakistani troops as Indian. The depth in terms of numbers available with India may help it compensate. This luxury is not available to Pakistan. The effect on the force multiplier that Pakistan intends using - irregulars – can only be expected to be negative. Since Pakistani civilians will be more affected, the ties of Pakistani soldiers to kith and kin may prove distracting. There is no evidence of either side having thought through the leadership, bonding and discipline issues on a nuclear battlefield. The emphasis has only been on personal protection at best, and that too is largely lip service for want of training equipment.