Monday, December 22, 2008

Pakistan Shows Off Its Military Might

While baking a pizza for lunch yesterday, suddenly I heard a loud noise that sounded like an aircraft missile flying through the sky. I thought, well if there is a missile or bomb coming, we are totally unprepared. Our windows aren't duct taped, and well what can we do if a missile is coming? I continued taking my pizza from the oven as the noise got louder and louder. My husband came running from the office saying, "Heather, do you think it's a bomb?" He ran up to the roof to see what was happening in the skies.

When he got up there he saw Pakistani fighter jets showing off for neighboring India. Everyone was outside watching the airplanes. We found out from a neighbor that the news was saying Pakistani jets were flying over three major cities right now, ours being one of them. They wanted to show India that they are "serious" and "prepared for war."

Now, everyone knows that the Indian army is the second largest standing army in the world. They've got 2.5 troops if you include both active and reserve members, and all are voluntary recruits. Pakistan's army, with 619,000 active personnel and 528,000 men in reserve, is less than half the size.

Pakistan has not fared well in previous wars with India, of which there have already been four since both countries gained their independence. In 1947, there was the First Kashmir War, and in 1965 this issue brought the two countries to war again. In 1971, Pakistan lost it's eastern half (East Pakistan), which subsequently was 'liberated' by India and became Bangladesh. The most recent conflict that has escalated to war was the Kargil War in 1999. This took place when then army-chief, Pervez Musharraf, took his troops across the Indian Line of Control (LOC) in Kashmir and was forced back into Pakistan by Indian forces. Aside from these four conflicts, there have been other incidences of tension between the two neighbors where each side has resorted to massive troop build ups along the Indo-Pak border.

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