How do you deal with a country like Pakistan?
The entire country is seething in justified rage after the attack on the army base in Uri where 17 of our soldiers have been martyred. More than an army battalion base, it was an army administrative base and hence the security wasn’t as tight as normally it is. The tent in which our jawans were resting caught fire.
Naturally there is all out anger and almost everybody wants the government to retaliate. After all it’s Narendra Modi’s government and everybody knows his stand on such acts of terror.
For the first time in the history of the country Pakistan (with the exception of the Bangladesh war) has been internationally put on the backfoot. The government has started telling Pakistan to forget about Kashmir and also return Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. India has also started raising the issue of Balochistan at the United Nations — something India should have done a few decades ago. The government is also sending a tough message to the Kashmiri separatists. Ever since the new NDA government took charge, there hasn’t been a major terrorist attack in the country.
The international pressure is also building up on Pakistan. It’s former Western masters are constantly telling it to curtail its support to and abetment of various jihadist groups and terrorist organizations. So things are not going great for the rogue country that has primarily survived on the Western doles while viewing Western values with contempt. The current attack on the Uri army base is a manifestation of the frustrating times the Pakistani establishment is going through.
How can India deal with a country like Pakistan? How do you deal with an enemy that is self-destructive? An enemy that doesn’t mind putting his own entire country in jeopardy due to an uncontrollable greed coupled with religious fanaticism?
A big problem for India — an argument used by the lobby that’s against a military counter-measure — is Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. Pakistani generals and radical politicians routinely say that they won’t hesitate from using nuclear warheads if India attacks Pakistan, even if entire Pakistan is destroyed in the process. And there is no reason not to believe them.
A nuclear standoff is a big possibility if or whenever India and Pakistan go to war, especially if India takes the initiative. No sane person would believe that when push comes to shove a characterless country that has got not much to lose, will stick to the “no first use policy”. Going by how the contemporary world seems to work, Pakistan may use the nuclear weapons at the drop of hat, AND it may also cry victim.
Here in India, on the other hand, we’re not a self-destructive society. No matter which government we have, we will never use a nuclear bomb for the simple reason that it’ll have a devastating impact on the entire sub-continent. Pakistan is suicidal, we’re not.
While the entire country is outraged after the attack it’s but natural for people to demand a country-attack, but is a counter-attack going to solve the problem? I don’t think it is.
Taking military action at this juncture would be wasteful. Pakistan has got nothing to lose. It is a country in shambles. Its rulers have no vision for its citizens and right now it seems neither do citizens have a vision for themselves. Just to have an upper hand or just to appear to have an upper hand, they would go to any depths. There is no lowest point for them. Dealing with them in the conventional sense would be like dealing with hijras (eunuchs). When you confront hijras they threaten to take off their clothes publicly. If you want to return in the same coin, you will also have to take off your clothes, which is something you don’t want to do. Although you have to deal with them, you have to deal with them differently, not just the way they are dealing with you.
Every government is wary of taking the war route unless you are talking about America where it seems such decisions are taken by the arms lobby. War means lots of destruction. War means lots of dead soldiers and civilians. War, especially with a neighboring country, and on top of that, a trigger happy country like Pakistan, means taking your own country back a couple of decades of economic progress. War is never good, even if you are pressed against the wall. A full scale war should either be a last option, or when the other country militarily invades your country.
The current problem in India is not that it is soft on Pakistan, the current problem in India is that it is soft on the internal enemies that work for Pakistan from within the Indian territory. This is where India needs to take a tough stand whether they are the so-called “separatists” in Kashmir or the Pakistan-sponsored think tanks and intellectuals constantly recruiting for different Pakistani causes. A big reason why most of the country is seething after the Uri attack is also the government’s unclear stand on the internal destructive forces eating away the country from the inside.
Dealing with Pakistan needs to be a long-term operation. Unfortunately most of our previous governments have either practised an ostrich mentality or played scant regard to the Frankenstein’s monster our forefathers created in 1947.
In order to deal with Pakistan, India needs to deal with people who are running the show in Pakistan in such a manner that they are either neutralised or the cost of carrying out operations in India is very high for those individuals. It is clear to see that the top military, political and bureaucratic brass in Pakistan has got nothing to do with religion or ideology — they simply thrive on the western and Arabian-world money they receive. They have built big empires of wealth for themselves. They don’t care for the people. They don’t mind as long as other people are dying. Although as a society they might be self-destructive, as individuals they are highly selfish and greedy, and usually very cowardly. Their selfishness, cowardliness and greed should be used as a weapon against them.
The Indian government should identify these individuals — they might be 50, 100 or at the most 200 — on a priority basis and then start dealing with them at individual level. Neutralise them, entice them, buy them out, threaten them, do whatever it takes to take them out of the picture as soon as possible. Without these core leaders their entire campaign will crumble. Even after the current lot of these “leaders” is dismantled, the coming of new such leaders should be closely monitored and dealt with accordingly. India is a big country. It has the intelligence. It has the resources. Only political will is lacking.
Along with that India should heavily invest in technologies that will neutralise Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. India should build a team of programmers and hackers that can hack into the Pakistani systems and render their nuclear weapons useless. India should develop technology that can hit the Pakistani missiles even before they can take off from the Pakistani land.
Pakistan knows that Indians are not suicidal so it is constantly using the bogey of its nuclear warheads whenever India threatens to react. The moment it realises that India faces no nuclear threat from Pakistan, it will not just stop its sabre-rattling, it will also stop supporting anti-India terror groups.
The key for India is, most of the people running the show in Pakistan are greedy and immoral. Their this weakness can become India’s strength.