The robustness of India's nuclear doctrine would face a severe challenge in the case of conventional military offensives into Pakistan in a future Indo-Pak conflict. Such offensives are possible in case Pakistan's nuclear threshold is taken as high and its doctrine one of 'last resort'. However, Pakistani nuclear use options may include lower order nuclear use. In light of this, it recommends that India take a serious look at the Limited War concept as well as revise its nuclear doctrine to 'flexible nuclear retaliation'.
Peacekeeping is India’s forte, not only because of its military’s professionalism but also due to its political acceptability globally. India’s image as a benign rising power can be exploited and enhanced in raising its peacekeeping profile.
That a nuclear taboo exists indicates the divide between conventional and nuclear war. It is no wonder then that India – though a nuclear weapons power – deems nuclear weapons not for military use but for deterrence purposes. These are, therefore, taken as political weapons. Seeking to deter use of nuclear weapons against India or its forces anywhere, India's nuclear doctrine promises ‘massive’ punitive retaliatory strike in case of nuclear use by its enemy. This is evidence that the Indian leadership is cognizant of the special status of nuclear weapons.
Getting the hard core Taliban to concede the fight without loss of face is preferable to destroying them. The latter course is rendered risky by the linkages between the Afghan Taliban, Pakistani Taliban and Punjabi Taliban and their penetration of the Pakistani state and society.