- Posted January 16, 2013 by
Treat Pakistan With Contempt ! Stop Being a Soft State
Let Indians clear their heads of all the rage that seems to be emanating from ‘the nation’ and try to see — actually see — what they are up against when they talk of war with disreputable neighbor Pakistan.
In the ordinary order of things, when a neighbor’s dog bites you, you will go to your neighbor and ask (as sternly as you can afford to, seeing as your house is alongside his/her house and you are going to have to continue living there whether you like it or not) them to keep the dog on a leash. In the situation that Indians find themselves in, it seems the dog owns the house and its-so-called owner has rendered himself incapable of doing anything to keep the dog from misbehaving. This metaphor of course relates to the relationship between the Pakistani Army and Pakistan’s toothless civilian Government.
Some people call Pakistan a historical mistake, a country born out of a divisive two-nation theory that should never have come into existence. Others consider Pakistan not so different from them and propose woolly-headed peacenik solutions that have nothing whatsoever to do with reality. For some reason, Indians seem to have gotten it into their heads that these are the only two things Indians can do with Pakistan.
With due apologies to any Aman ki Asha hippies that might be reading this, I would like to point out that Pakistan is neither enemy nor competitor. Pakistan is in no way India’s equal. The geographical proximity of Pakistan to India — the world’s largest democracy — is an undeniable fact of course, but that is in no way indicative of any kind of equality between the two countries.
From the day of its inception, Pakistan has based its identity on being anti-India. The young Islamic republic allied with America in the Cold War days because India was chummy with Soviet Russia. It embraced an Arabic identity to distance itself from the Hindu history it shared with India. To this day, one keeps hearing odd noises from inside Pakistan regarding how India’s very presence next door is ruining it. The most recent example is the ban on Indian soap operas on Pakistani television on the grounds of its ‘negative influence’ on Pakistani society.
Truth is, there is absolutely nothing that Pakistan has and India wants. On the contrary, Pakistan has never been particularly shy about expressing its lust for Kashmir and — on many turbo-Islamist occasions — Delhi itself!
Pakistan is and has been a long-standing annoyance for India. Terrorism emanating from that country has brought India to despair on more than one occasion. But what is also to be understood is that this is a country whose primary exports consist of towels and bed sheets, a country which has spent almost 40 of its 60 post-British years under military rule, a country which has absolutely nothing going for it except its proximity with India. The gruesome and unprovoked killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani Army has shocked the nation. Pakistani troops entered 600 meters into Indian territory along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch sector and killed Lance Naik Hemraj and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh. Their bodies were mutilated and their heads were chopped off. One of the heads was carried away by the enemy.
This is a chilling reminder of the brutal torture and killing of Captain Saurabh Kalia and his team by Pakistani troops during the Kargil war.
A soldier represents the nation in the battlefield. No one’s presence is as direct as a soldier’s. Every drop of our soldiers’ blood is sacred to us. The death of a soldier is a huge loss to the nation, a loss which should make us all die a little.
The brutal killing of Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops inside Indian territory is highly unacceptable, unpardonable and gravely provocative and it gives India the right to retaliate. But how strongly will New Delhi react to the issue?
Though Defense Minister AK Antony said the inhuman mutilation of the jawans’ bodies by Pakistani troops is a turning point in India-Pakistan relations, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid made the Government’s intentions clear when he said, “The Government will not buckle to the wild calls for revenge and reaction.” Is the Government so spineless that it would translate the nation’s righteous indignation as ‘wild calls for revenge’?
But Pakistan is shamelessly denying the cross-LoC attack and calling it ‘Indian propaganda’. Of course, going by Islamabad’s record of brazen denials in the face of concrete evidence, this is nothing surprising. Pakistan will never ever accept its guilt.
It is time India shrugged off the ‘soft state’ tag by shooting down the syrupy track II diplomacy proposed by the fifth column. The barbaric act carried out by Pakistani Army cannot be allowed to go unpunished.
It is a fact that Pakistan is a rogue State and peace with it is not possible. Successive Indian Governments in different periods of our post-independence history tried to buy peace with Pakistan by engaging the neighboring country in talks. But in every single instance, Pakistan has returned India’s hand of friendship with a war. The years 1965, 1971 and 1999 have been witness to this. In addition, Pakistan continues to wage a relentless covert war against India.
There has been an abrupt escalation in ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the Line of Control. There were 117 ceasefire violations by Pakistani Army reported in 2012, as compared to 51 in 2011 and 44 in 2010. The Pakistani Army uses ceasefire violation every time to give cover to terrorists attempting to sneak into Indian soil.
Similarly Pakistani infiltration into India is on the rise. Intelligence reports say 249 infiltration attempts were reported in 2011, as against 247 in 2011 and 489 in 2010. As many as 2,500 terrorists are reportedly waiting to sneak into the Indian territory from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Pakistan has scant respect for the Line of Control.
The world is now looking at India. It’s time India drew a red line against Pakistan. New Delhi needs to lodge a strong protest against Pakistan with international bodies and isolate Pakistan internationally. Pakistan should be named and shamed in all possible international fora.
Simultaneously, India should explore its right to retaliate and strike fear into Pakistani Army with the ultimate aim of neutralising it. Let our armed forces accomplish what they have been trained to do. If Pakistanis can cross the Line of Control, there is no reason why we can’t.
The only way Pakistan can remain relevant in today’s world is by having something to do with India.
It therefore stands to reason that when Pakistani ‘authorities’ (for lack of a better word) talk of giving India ‘Most Favored Nation’ status, they are not doing India a favor. Their sportsmen do not do India any favors by coming here to play. Their musicians do not do India any favors by becoming a part of Indian entertainment industry. It is the exact opposite every single time.
India is the land of opportunity for Pakistan, and Pakistan is a country stupid enough to hate India for it.
So Indians should perhaps consider breaking out of the mental trap that forces them to think that there are only two ways of dealing with the errant neighbor — loving it or hating it. Indians can choose the third option and start treating Pakistan with the contempt it deserves.
There is no need to fall in love with the idea of a friendly Pakistan. It will, as it has so often in the past, lead to heartbreak. There is also no need to wage war against an enemy as insignificant as Pakistan. It’s uneconomical overkill. A complete and absolute boycott of Pakistan in all spheres should be more than enough to keep the neighbor’s dog on leash.
If Pakistan cannot be expected to see how much it depends on us, then perhaps it is time Indians reminded them of it, firmly and sternly.
The article is courtesy NitiCenral.com.
Dr. Bikram Lamba, a political & business strategist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org