Thursday, 29 September 2016

#IndiaStrikesBack - Part 1 | Striking Parallels

#IndiaStrikesBack – Finally! Something that was long overdue.

For my uninitiated readers across the globe, for the first time since India’s Independence in 1947, Indian Army has crossed the unresolved Line of Control [LoC] in Kashmir and entered Pakistan occupied Kashmir [Pok], neutralising 7 terrorist launch pads across 4 locations. It is a proud moment for any Indian that loves peace. Finally, an answer back to the instigators that adventures like Uri and Pathankot attacks on Indian army instalments, killing scores of Indian soldiers without provocation would not go unpunished. Today, being a proud Indian, I can state that India does and can attack at its own will and choosing of a time and place against any adversary that works against the interests and integrity of India. It looks good on text-books when one reads that India has never been an aggressor in the last 5000 years of its existence. Now when the existence and more importantly the ideologies are threatened that makes up the very nation, it is high time, the polices are reviewed, revised and updated.

Every surgery aims to cure the patient. In this case, the surgery precisely took out a tumour [terrorist launch-pads] and rendered the patient [Pakistan] in a coma as a fallout, albeit temporarily – a first of many firsts to come. It is the coming of age of India as a stronger nation in the current geo-political set-up where foreign policies are concerned. But the cancer has spread far and wide. It needs regular chemotherapy at different parts of the body – starting with Baluchistan, NWFP, Gilgit-Baltistan under PoK, etc.

There are many areas that I would like to touch upon but is not possible to compile into a single blog post. This is the first of the series that touches upon how Pakistan as a state has failed and has remained unchanged over the last 70 years despite its ideologies and failing as a state every time when its time to rise and shine came and went away; the similarities between the situation of 1971 and 2016 are starkly similar!...

For any Army in a Democratic set-up, Political backing is must [Pakistan doesn’t fall into this category; it is the other way around in case of Pakistan]. An army is what it’s political masters wants it to be. It can be a destructive lethal weapon, like German SS in World War II leading to Blitzkrieg or it can be completely apolitical like Indian Army which hardly meddles in the political affairs of the country. Indian Army had almost lost its edge and was toothless in its effectiveness after Independence due to Nehruvian policies of pacifism and NAM; believing China to be too docile to attack India. Jolt – rather a rude shock came in the form of humiliating defeat of 1962 Chinese aggression that left India red-faced and was caught pants down; showing that if you value peace, one cannot compromise with its defence. It’s easy to preach about love and compassion when the borders are secure. Henderson-Brooks report was instrumental in highlighting the deficiencies that were rectified to an extent by 1965 and finally fully implemented before 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War under the stewardship of Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Indian Army, has been always held under a tight leash with poor political will throughout its 70yrs of existence, except during brief periods of Prime-Ministership of Mrs. Gandhi. Hopefully, Mr. Modi’s Prime Ministership  would bring back that old glory that every major power yearns to achieve.

There are many parallels that can be drawn in this regard, between 1971 situation and 2016.

Firstly, Pakistan was in a similar situation of instigating conflict in both the occasions. Massacre of Bengali intellectuals and mass genocide and meddling in the affairs at provincial level then, overriding the federal government in East Pakistan was the chief cause of 1971 conflict; that eventually led to the creation of Bangladesh. In current scenario, it’s the low intensity conflicts and now continuous disturbance in Kashmir since the killing of Hizbul Commander Burhan Wani, which are alarmingly occurring at regular intervals within India.

Secondly, India was and is almost perceived a weakling globally; India had lost the 1962 war; From 1966-1969, India was in a constant state of famine and also had to fight a costly war in 1965. We had to import wheat from US which were not fit for human consumption under PL-480 where Mrs. Gandhi had to face humiliation from Kissinger and Nixon; which ultimately gave rise to the Green Revolution. Presently, India has gone through a political logjam of UPA2 that throttled Indian growth to a huge extent being a coalition government with an extremely poor track-record with scams to gloat about. After 2001 Parliament Attack, followed by 26/11, Indian response has been largely muted. Every possible trick in the book in accordance with diplomacy and Track-II dialogues have been explored to cajole Pakistan, but without any success.

Thirdly, in a bi-polar and pluralistic world, there were NATO and Warsaw Pacts during 1970’s that influenced the world engagements. US clearly sided with Pakistan while India had the backing of USSR in the 1971 conflict. Today, while US is in a difficult position to side with Pakistan out of little choice, Pakistan’s real ally is the new super-power in rising – PR China. India still has the backing of USSR and USA – a reversal of policies [which I will cover in Part 2 on this topic]; but the point that I want to drive home is that there are clearly 2 groups that has to gain out of this engagement; One is China which is a now behemoth in its own rights with enough economic clout and the other is US that has a natural ally in India as it stretches itself thin across the world and cannot do without India given the decline in the world authority that is has seen over the past decade. America’s glory days are well over and is in slow decline.

Fourthly, the brazenness with which India had intervened in 1971 and now proactively conducted the surgical strikes inside Pakistani territory when the world, and especially Pakistan least expected it. Pakistani army was actually caught napping; Pakistani army and terrorist casualties in the recent surgical strikes by India were being passed as cross-border firing by Pak DG-ISPR; too humiliated to accept the fact that a surgical strike indeed has been conducted by India, that stains the reputation of Pakistani Army, which is sacrosanct.

Fifthly and rightly so – a strong personality based Indian leadership. Mrs. Gandhi left a lasting impression on the history of Independent India during her tumultuous rule. So does Mr. Modi who had to face enough political challenges to rise and become the PM. Both became the PM due to their charismatic personality and being able to move the masses. Both have uncanny similarities in the way they function.

Lastly, the raison d’etre of Pakistan’s existence [a topic in itself]. Pakistan [which is an acronym] was created based on Jinnah’s “Two Nation Theory” propagated by Iqbal but actually initiated by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. During 1971, it was a nation still in experimentation, going though alternate coups and civilian government leadership and subjugating the more learned and intellectual East Pakistanis under the rules, culture and traditions of West Pakistan. Urdu was declared the national language without taking into account the rich Bengali literature and traditions that has given a Noble Laureate and ultimately the National Anthem of both Bangladesh and India; basically a culture clash between two groups in the same country separated by a thousand miles that were broadly dissimilar in every possible way but united by a common faith. After the humiliating loss of half the territory in 1971 which India had to intervene giving rise to the independent nation of Bangladesh, Pakistan then focussed single-handedly on bleeding India through thousand cuts that started at the fag-end of eighties and have continued to this date, unabated – reaching its pinnacle during the Kargil misadventure. In reality, Pakistan as a state, in my opinion, failed in 1971 – unable to uphold the tenets of ‘Two Nation Theory” advocated by the founding father, Mr. Jinnah.

Today, Pakistani intelligentsia and military elite have been subjugated under a systemic pressure and culture to identify India as a common enemy, to the extent that history has been completely re-written in school text-books that identifies India as the aggressor in the all the wars that has been fought with India and none of the wars where Pakistan has conceded any defeat. Pakistan officially denies any defeat at the hands of India and has been able to brain-wash generations through its education system. There are enough proofs of the same – the most vocal being Ms. Christine Fair who has done extensive studies on Indo-Pak relationship, having written numerous books and spent a number of years in Pakistan; at the moment she is banned to travel to Pakistan at behest of Pakistan’s infamous ISI. She has even lambasted a Pakistani Fulbright scholar on his ignorance that Kashmir is not an integral part of Pakistan based on UN resolution when he foolishly tries to portray that Mr. Fair’s evidence of Pakistani legitimacy on Kashmir is questionable. The video below is the proof in itself!

So what is next for Pakistan? Now, that it is no longer a functioning state like it should? The thought is scary indeed. It is a melting pot of terrorists – Specifically, Wahhabi ideologies funded by Middle East and sympathizers of Al-Qaida, Haqqani Network and then you have Good Taliban [Anti-India] and Bad Taliban. Not to forget and mention that some of the Uighur dissents that keeps China on their toes in Western China had their training in Pakistan. Pakistan today stands out like a sore thumb where terrorism is concerned. Most of the terrorists across the globe have some link or other with Pakistan. Shia-Sunni is another complex matter/dimension that would take up an entire discussion altogether.

It is not in India’s interest that Pakistan fails as a nation. But when the national ideology, the basis on which a nation was formed has failed, it is pertinent to ask the question – is it relevant to prop up a nation on ventilator? Or let the patient die? For long Pakistan has solely survived on the aids provided by USA that has gone into arms procurement to deter India. Today, if one delves in finding out what Pakistan exports, it will not be wrong to say that, “Terrorism as a service” [TaaS] is the only thing that comes to mind.

It needs to be pondered!

To be Continued...

Game of Anarchy, touches upon few of the points of backdoor diplomacy in such tricky situations...


  1. Not the first time Indian army attacked...but the first time Indian Polity allowed it to be disclosed and aligned it with diplomatic action.

    1. Technically India is still not aggressor this time as Indian action was preceded by Pak instigated terror attacks in Pathankot and Uri. Agree with your comments though...