Tuesday, 21 October 2014

India, Pakistan and The West

India and the Pakistan problem... I have been hearing a lot on the streets from people - the final solution, or words to that effect. We Indians are now getting tired of the constant violence. It is a common strand of discussion here among normal civilian citizens- let us finish Pakistan once and for all. Ek Jung- one war, end it all. Aar yaa paar ki jung. A last fight to the bloody finish with Pakistan.

Or, it is a fervent advise to the Government  that we should be more assertive militarily, and strike the terror outfits operating from within Pakistan, or statements to that effect; statements that advocate a much more aggressive posture as compared to the current calibrated and measured response, which is reactive, firm and yet non-escalatory, with a clearly held olive branch of talks. 

Much the same threat has also been voiced by our politicians as well, with one major political leader - an erudite, highly respected and incorrupt man - openly declaring words to the effect that "one more repitition of Mumbai 2008 - and all bets are off" Tolerance levels Pan India are at historical lows, and even a small incident can set off a chain of events. 

Blunt, Frank and Straight - Modern India is in no mood to accept further bloodshed of any sort, at least in my reading. We dont want to absorb anything, or change the bloody world. We just want to be left in peace. We have no illusions on that score and trust me, that is precisely what our Foreign Policy also speaks, with its clear reaching out to the neighborhood, as well as other steps. The message is clear - dont push us. We know how to push back, and very, very hard. Observe the steps of both the UPA as well as the BJP on that score, right from the Diplomat incident to invites to China, and strategic support - unequivocal openly voiced support to Russia in open defiance to the West.

I dont think it is feasible for India to hold back from responding anymore, if recent events and forces, Political positions are anything to judge by. And please trust me, non-Indians- on this point, nearly all India stands united regardless of religion, political dispensation or whatever. This is not an issue that can be ignored anymore; something has to be done to reign in those idiots to the West. This cannot be ignored; not with the rise of the ISIS.

Or can we just ignore Pakistan, and move on in the hope that things will be all right? Can we continue on our path of growth, with our justified dreams of regional and world leadership, in the backdrop of the problems we have? What happens if there is another attack? Can we so easily dehyphenate? Esp when the world does not want to dehyphenate the 2 of us? Can we pretend that we have larger roles to play in the world, and never mind the terror? Can we be assured that Pakistan wont foment trouble for us? 

Most critically, how can we lay claim to genuine global recognition, when the same globe does not realise, and does not want to realise, that the one nation to pay the heaviest price, and pay it willingly, quietly, is our India? To my mind, the two are not reconcilable; you cannot brush these things under the carpet for ever. You cannot have a global recognition, in the backdrop of manifest, crystal clear and provable duality of treatment as is the current situation. There will come a time when this duality will rub people the wrong way. Perhaps, this process of alienation has already started... with India's crystal clear pro-Asian tilt...


How can we reconcile this manifest duality - calling India a great nation etc, and supplying arms to, and ignoring Pakistani antics, by the west? Iraq was destroyed merely on suspicion, whereas Pakistan, the ONLY nation to actually threaten a Nuclear Attack on another - {India} was not even considered for consideration for even an admonishment. India has seen 43000+ deaths due to Pakistan, and indirectly the USA, as their arms flow into Pakistan; as they started the Jihad nonsense in 1985 {Afghan misadventure}. Other examples from around the world can be readily found.Is this model sustainable? How can we play a larger global role, with trouble surrounding us on all sides in Asia? 


 Call it wishful thinking, but I still feel that if the world wants to, it can make Pakistan come to its senses by assertive action - like isolation, or severe pressure or joint action. Sure, it would mean severe internal issues for Pakistan; and massive kickbacks at the West as well as the Government; which is precisely why the West does not want to do anything about it, forgetting they created the problem in the first place, making it their moral obligation to clear it up. {Well, ok, The USA - UK} 

It is living in a dream's world if I were to believe anyone would do the above out of the goodness of their heart. Straight, Frank and Blunt : Only one nation has done anything selflessly : India, period. So we can be sure the above is not going to happen. Well, my respectful submission : study the period 1930 - 1939. In detail.. Study how the WW2 started, why it started, why it happened. The parallel is perfect. The appeasement of Germany led to WW2; the appeasement of Pakistan has led to the unprecedented rise of Islamic Terror. And while you are about it, study the WW1 in detail, and especially what happened immediately afterwards; and compare to the present, History repeats itself. 

This time, it is not the perpetrators who are paying : thanks to technological advancements, it is the criminals and the unconnected innocents who are paying. Read that "unconnected" bit as "India". That we are right is easily proven: Despite having 150 Million Muslim Citizens, India is an ocean of peace and calm in a relative sense, while the rest of the world implodes; even the West has been jolted by the inroads made by the ISIS. Our wish is only to protect this hard-fought peace; it has come at a price heavier than anything paid by anyone on the planet; given we are not responsible for even an iota of what transpired. And that seems to be rather difficult to do at this point in time. 

A peaceful nation can only ignore or forget the past and the present reality around it for so long; beyond that point, inaction can be equated with stupidity. An old maxim fits here : beware the temper of the quiet man. Everyone would do well to remember that.

Add to that Pakistan's assumed importance as a gateway to Afghanistan; yet again refurbished due to the rise of the ISIS. And who benefits? Pakistan. Smart, very smart indeed. Heads I win, tails you lose. 

Today's newspaper had an interesting article - our - aah, what was it - bosom friend, cohort, brother, partner etc etc whatnot - The USA, who else - is building a dam in POK, despite Indian objection. Even the World Bank backed off when India objected. Strident objections, might I add. And, only 20 days after the Modi visit. Interesting, isnt it? What  strategic partnership? Note - India does not repeat not repeat not have any repeat any repeat any friend on this planet, Russia aside. Even Israel, due to US pressure, is not reliable. And the Indian Government knows this. Watch Putin's visit. Low-key, but bet you that some pretty important decisions will be taken. Guaranteed. 

Despite the manifest fact that we have paid a higher price than any nation on this planet due to terrorism, no one will step forward to help. 

The key, the absolutely vital key, is to dissociate Pakistan from the West; to force the West to act. We should, in my opinion,, albeit layman's opinion, start building serious pressure on The West to quit the bullshit with Pakistan, and use - really use - the UN. One way that occurs to me is to threaten to pull out of the UN. Or we could actually quit; it wont make much of a difference. And make the reason clear : it isnt because of Pakistan, but because of the unequal nature of the body. 

Properly done, we could set off a cascade reaction. There may be other ways to do the same; the objective is clear - make any support to Pakistan by The West untenable; you could threaten retaliatory action, like cancelling arms deals, stopping business, or stopping relations of any sort. 


Unless The West steps aside, I dont think military action is an option. Because, all on its own, Pakistan knows that a Nuke attack will only ascertain extinction for Pakistan. After a Nuke, Indian Public, Armed Forces or Government will not stop at anything less than annihilation, in my opinion. And Pakistan uses the Nuke bluff only and only to terrorise the West, which is too smart to understand. Too smart by half.

As regards a strike on Pakistan, only an Armed Forces Officer is in the proper place to comment; only such a person has the requisite exposure and knowledge. We, as civilians, should in my opinion keep silent about such options, and trust our Armed Forces and Politicians to take the right calls. So far, save for once, they have been right each and every time. An exemplary record, if I may say so. 

A strike would decidedly have a significant downside. The key aspect here is the overall geopolitical situation, which is not in our favour. A unilateral attack from our side can only lead to international intervention due to the Nuclear bugbear, which is exactly what Pakistan wants. Doing that would be playing into Pakistani hands. Personally, I am sure that the Nuclear threat is just a bluff : we are certain to give a disproportionate response. That would mean certain obliteration for Pakistan. Second, it would leave Pakistan's owner & master the USA with no option but to participate in the response, and step in. For Pakistan, it means complete destruction and/or dismemberment. That is 100% assured. 


And that is what is Pakistan's play is : it is buffing. And those morons in the West are too smart to see through this, the biggest bluff ever perpetrated by any nation. I would request people here to watch state department interviews on youtube - Pakistan is always viewed as a strategic location. Always and everytime. This is blinding the West to the reality; the grand bluff. A master play by a genius - credit where credit is due. Hence, every time there is tension on the border, everyone from The Western Media to The Western Leaders begin their nightmare scenarios, forcing intervention.

And that is why, an aggressive posture, combined with an olive branch vis-a-vis Pakistan is the only way out of this; this is where the current Government is excelling. It is holding out an olive branch - while being far more aggressive than its predecessor. The message is in equal parts to Pakistan as well as its owners in The Great West : We are in no mood to take any nonsense. Unless the West gets out of the way, and stops propping up Pakistan, no solution is feasible... 

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