Dasgupta 13 [Sunil Dasgupta is Director of the University of Maryland Baltimore County Political Science Program at the Universities at Shady Grove and non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, East Asia Forum, February 25, 2013, "How will India respond to civil war in Pakistan?", http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/02/25/how-will-india-respond-to-civil-war-in-pakistan/]
As it is, India and Pakistan have gone down to the nuclear edge four times — in 1986, 1990, 1999 and 2001–02. In each case, India responded in a manner that did not escalate the conflict. Any incursion into Pakistan was extremely limited. An Indian intervention in a civil war in Pakistan would be subject to the same limitations — at least so long as the Pakistani army maintains its integrity.
Given the new US–India ties, the most important factorin determining the possibility and nature of Indian intervention in a possible Pakistani civil waris Washington. If the United States is able to get Kabul and Islamabad to work together against the Taliban, as it is trying to do now, then India is likely to continue its current policy or try to preserve some influence in Afghanistan, especially working with elements of the Northern Alliance.
India and Afghanistan already have a strategic partnership agreement in place that creates the framework for their bilateral relationship to grow, but the degree of actual cooperation will depend on how Pakistan and the Taliban react. If Indian interests in Afghanistan come under attack, New Delhi might have to pull back. The Indian government has been quite clear about not sending troops to Afghanistan.
If the United States shifts its policy to where it has to choose Kabul over Islamabad, in effect reviving the demand for an independent Pashtunistan, India is likely to be much more supportive of US and Afghan goals. The policy shift, however, carries the risk of a full-fledged proxy war with Pakistan in Afghanistan, but should not involve the prospect of a direct Indian intervention in Pakistan itself.
India is not likely to initiate an intervention that causes the Pakistani state to fail. Bill Keller of the New York Times has described Pakistani president Asif Ail Zardari as overseeing ‘a ruinous kleptocracy that is spiraling deeper into economic crisis’. But in contrast to predictions of an unravelling nation, British journalist-scholar Anatol Lieven argues that the Pakistani state is likely to continue muddling through its many problems, unable to resolve them but equally predisposed against civil war and consequent state collapse. Lieven finds that the strong bonds of family, clan, tribe and the nature of South Asian Islam prevent modernist movements — propounded by the government or by the radicals — from taking control of the entire country.
Lieven’s analysis is more persuasive than the widespread view that Pakistan is about to fail as a state. The formal institutions of the Pakistani state are surprisingly robustgiven the structural conditions in which they operate. Indian political leaders recognise Pakistan’s resilience. Given the bad choices in Pakistan, they would rather not have anything to do with it.If there is going to be a civil war, why not wait for the two sides to exhaust themselves before thinking about intervening? The 1971 war demonstrated India’s willingness to exploit conditions inside Pakistan, but to break from tradition requiresstrong, countervailing logic, and those elements do not yet exist. Given the current conditions and those in the foreseeable future, India is likely to sit out a Pakistani civil war while covertly coordinating policy with the United States.