Indian Army vs Pakistan Army
Trying to find out differences between two armies is a difficult task as one can easily talk about in numbers but the quality of the armies is difficult to gauge and is demonstrated only during a war. India and Pakistan have lived like adversaries ever since they got independence in 1947 from the British rule. The very fact that India chose the path of democracy and Pakistan chose to become an Islamic state has led to skirmishes and full blown wars between the two countries in 1948, 1965, 1971 and 1999. Both countries are today nuclear with India having adopted a no first use doctrine.
With the recent assassination of dreaded terrorist Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, and army chief of India saying that India too is capable of such surgical strikes, tensions between the traditional foes have escalated. It is in this sense that it becomes prudent to make a fair assessment of the capabilities of the armies of these two neighbors.
Before we move to count the strength of the two armies, it is pertinent to point out that India has a well developed defense program and has been manufacturing modern weapons while Pakistan is totally relying on the US, North Korea and China for its arms supplies. India on the other hand has been securing modern armory from various sources such as Russia, US, UK, France, Germany, Sweden, and Israel.
Indian army is the 2nd largest in the world in terms of numbers while Pakistan has the 7th largest army in the world at present. India has 1300000 active troops whereas Pakistan has 550000 active soldiers. In addition, India has 1200000 reserve troops with strength of 200000 in Territorial Army. Pakistan’s army strength goes up to more than 900000 if we include navy (25000), Air Force (50000), Paramilitary forces (300000), and coast Guards.
Indian Air Force has around 3500 aircrafts of which 1300 are light combat aircrafts that operate from 61 air bases. This makes Indian Air Force fourth largest in the world. Indian aircrafts are mostly Russian and French such as MIG, Mirage, and Sukhoi with work in progress on the development of new aircrafts in HAL. India also has ground attack aircrafts, reconnaissance aircrafts, UAV’s and helicopters. In comparison, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has about 550 combat aircrafts operating out of 9 airbases. Its fighters are mostly US and Chinese in origin. It also has transport aircrafts though it lacks UAV and reconnaissance aircrafts.
It was the loss of Bangladesh in 1971 that Pakistan paid attention to its navy capabilities and gradually increased its naval fleet that today boasts of submarines, destroyers, frigates, patrol, and mine warfare boats. Pakistan Navy operates from a sole naval base at Karachi. On the other hand, Indian Navy is indigenous in nature and it has many bases at Vishakhapattanam, Mumbai, Goa, and Andaman Islands.
It is in the context of missiles that India is ahead of Pakistan with a full blown indigenous program whereas Pakistan is dependent upon North Korea and China for its ballistic missile needs.
Indian Army vs Pakistan Army
• Both Indian and Pakistan forces match out evenly when it comes to nuclear and missile fronts but India seems to have superiority in terms of conventional forces.
• Pak Navy is smaller and has no aircraft carrier while Indian navy is much superior with various ships including aircraft carriers.
• Having been continuously engaged in a low intensity conflict with the terrorists, Indian army is battle hardened and is always in a state of alertness.
• Indian armed forces also get a chance to participate in joint exercises with other major forces of the world such as US and France which works in favor of its armed forces.