New Delhi: India and Pakistan gained their independence 65 years ago and have fought four wars since then. After the humiliating defeat in the 1971 war, Pakistan has been increasing its military strength at a rapid pace. Today both countries are nuclear armed and their armies are in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation at many places on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
While Pakistan has been violating the ceasefire at the LoC regularly, India has exercised great restraint both militarily and politically. Here is a look at the strengths of the armed forces of the two countries.
The number of Indian Army Corps is 9 while Pakistan has 8 Corps. The Indian Army has 13 lakh soldiers while Pakistan army has 6 lakh soldiers. Indian has over 8 lakh combatants as reserves while Pakistan has 5 lakh.
Indian Army has over 4100 main battle tanks while Pakistan has nearly 2500 of these fighting machines. The Indian Air Force (1,70,000 combatants) has a strength of over 700 fighters and bombers apart from 20 attack helicopters. Pakistan (45,000) has over 400 combat aircraft. The Indian Navy comprising of 55,000 troops is way ahead of its Pakistani counterpart with one aircraft carrier, 17 submarines including the nuclear powered INS Chakra and over 20 other battleships. Pakistani Navy has 25,000 soldiers and about 16 ships.
But sources say that more than the military strength it is the strategy and the quality of leadership that determines the winner of a combat.
India can do three strikes corps with armoured divisions while Pakistan has only two.
The two countries share a long border and the Pakistani armed forces are only geared to fight India. So, experts don't see much difference in the capability of the armed forces of the two countries.
But Indian Air Force has far better capability than Pakistan's. India has 12 air bases where MiGs, Jaguars, Sukhois and Mirage fighters as based. On the other hand the Pakistan Air force has only 7 air bases where the Mirage, JF and F-16 fighters as stationed.
But Pakistan is ahead of India in terms of the modern AWACS aircraft. The use of AWACS planes is extremely important in modern warfare as they are equipped with radar and can give information about enemy planes, ships and missiles. India currently has only three AWACS while Pakistan has nine of these planes.
Pakistan is reported to have 90 to 100 nuclear warheads while India has about 80 warheads. The two countries are almost at par in terms of missiles.