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"We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our own past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act. "
-- Swami Vivekananda

Issues Posted > Terrorism:

Stopping The Paki Mischief For Good
  Posted By: K / Date:
State: Delhi   District: North   City:  

As wars are not being fought only by conventional means now, we need to improve the process of maintaining national strategic interests and evolve new options in the changed scenario. We may need to involve professionals in the process of strategic thinking as our politicians despite their very active rhetoric have proved fairly incompetent at it, and seem to be not able to think beyond the next elections or their self interests as they themselves perceive, how ever inconsequential these may be to the nation at large.

The dangerous strategic situation in relation to Pakistan is clear to even a layman. As it stands Pakistan has the upper hand now for over a decade. Pak has the will to continue state terror at all costs, expanding it to include all plausible targets, including associating Bangladesh in the adventure in the east, the faint almost hypocritical US admonishment being no hurdle. To boot Pak has a fairly competent army ever willing to take up initiatives like Kargil, and the proclaimed policy of extending such expeditions to a nuclear offensive at its choosing To this we despite having the fourth largest army or the world seems to have any answers. Pakistan's no holes barred game seems to have checkmated our politicians and policy makers completely. The out come is that it has cost us more men and money, tens of thousands of crores, more than all wars put together and we seem to have only a passive Gandhian strategy of turning the other cheek and waiting for more of the same. Pakistan won't give it up easily as is getting a good bang for its buck, a few hundred crores spent every year at best.

It is for India to evolve an effective short term and a longer term strategy to the problem at hand. To be called a strategic option the act must permit us to go on the offensive, raise the cost of response by Pakistan prohibitively and simultaneously put us out of its retaliatory range. India needs to look at the options available and borrow from those practiced by US, Russia, Israel, China etc., countries who are seen as having the will to aggressively protect their national interests when threatened. We should not be labeled as a soft state permanently.

As a short term measure, India should step up to the extent possible (money no object) unacknowledged or sarcastically veiled as diplomatic and moral support to oppressed minorities in Pak such as the Shias and the regional separatist movements . We should seek the help of Northern Alliance in random disruptive attacks on soft and special interest targets ( generals, state machinery, terrorist commanders, ISI officers, mullahs) including engage mercenaries for good money. There are plenty disgruntled and unemployed terrorists in Pakistan who won't mind having a shot at a good target, especially as Pak has always has had our politicians and people on the list. As it has happened for us in Kashmir and elsewhere for us, it will increase the cost of defending people and public places for Pakistan by much more than what we spend on the covert initiative.

We should make US style laws allowing citizen's to seek substantial damages from hostile governments for war like acts, overt or covert and without any time limit. Why can an Indian citizen sue a US Co. for a commercial accident like the Bhopal tragedy, and not Pakistan for death and economic losses due to state sponsored terror? A powerful US Government paid China for misdirected bombs in the Balkans war. US seized Iranian assets & made the Mullahs pay citizens for the embassy siege. Iraq is still paying for occupying Kuwait and getting bombed. Libya wants to pay good compensation for killing a plane load of passengers to get the US led sanctions lifted. The relatives of the dead on 9/11 are suing Saudi Arabia, whose money made it all possible. US believes every citizen's life is worth a lot and worth protecting. We may not be US and not have the ability to use UN & the IMF to our purpose, but why can't we use the little leverage we have. We should also make it legal for every Indian Citizen to seek compensation from Pak for the very willful over 40,000 deaths and economic hardships and be prepared to divert the Indus waters as compensation, the one invaluable Pakistani "clear gold" asset that we control and Pakistan wants Kashmir for. A major portion of the money should go to the people of Kashmir and other victims for the killings including our brave jawans for their sufferings and the loss of income from tourism etc and the rest to the Indian State as war reparations..

This is the only real option we have against Pakistan, the suspension of the Indus Waters Treaty and not just the ineffectual ones like stopping a bus, train or plane. Perfectly legitimate course as we are at war and in war all agreements and treaties are suspended as our very survival is threatened by the enemy act ( includes the on record nuclear black mail), and we will resume the water once the threat is fully eliminated and the due compensation is gotten, as in Kuwait Vs. Iraq. In such a case Pakistan could theoretically use the nuclear option. Well we have got to leave it to the mad General, except that US has justified the pre-emptive doctrine, and even threatened Iraq a much weaker country that can't even attack the US mainland, which we may as well borrow and apply here as the only effective counter strategy.

Advani & BJP cry that Nehru fouled up things by not giving the Army a few more days to push out the invaders in Kashmir and stupidly went to the UN instead, and an Indira Gandhi let off the Bhutto cheaply when she had 90,000 POWs and should have used the leverage to settle Kashmir in finality.The same argument applies to this lot too. The Parliament was attacked on their watch, which never happened even in a war, the army was shunted up and down with a few of Musharraf's words to show. Real credit here goes to Mr. Powell of USA. Why didn't the BJP use this historical opportunity to suspend the Indus Water's treaty? Gas filled tigers are they. What we need is real smart action on real options and not just great rhetoric from our current set of talkative politicians, or may be they are happy that a Modi has discovered Musharraf as a handy election helper. And rhetoric and elections are where the real fight is and not national interests. May be the current political wisdom is that going down in history as "doers who had the will to tackle the root cause for good" is not as worthwhile as another five years in the chair. And is much safer to blame a Nehru & Indira, they can't even respond from where they are. 

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