Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Advantage India :: Wresting the Initiatives - Pak on backfoot

“Khoon hae angan mere, bhai bhabhi ro raye haen.....ankh hae bhara bhara aur tum dil lagane ki bate kar rahe ho !!
(There’s blood in my courtyard. My brother and his family are shedding tears. My eyes too are moist and you want me to buy peace around)” --- these are a collection of rare melancholic lines I penned almost unknowingly for a Facebook posting on September 20-21(2016) – mid night.

In the unprecedented terror strike at fortified Uri sector in Baramula district on September 18; India lost of its 18 brave hearts. 
Words fail this caption
Truly, its melancholic time in India as a generally peace-loving nation is being forced to take an aggressive stand. There is a teaser, a provocation for the government of Narendra Modi – who sadly, may be has “more enemies” in India than abroad! By temperament, an obstinate kind of a man and a hardliner by training, Modi by himself offers as a challenge to Pakistan. Yet things in Pakistan mostly go in a dubious manner towards an unknown direction.

By nature, politicians are known for double standards. Pakistani politicians’ track record too – like in India and elsewhere - smacks of duplicity. On face value, Pakistani politicians talks against military interference in their affairs, but privately they strike deas. Even the famous 1997 election victory of Nawaz Sharif – often hailed as a victory of the institution of Parliament and Sharif’s pledge to work for peace with India – in effect – what later came out suggested that he had stuck a deal with General Jehangir Karamat. Hence the army chief in Pakistan has remained a key arbitrator in their political system. But this logic does not end here.
A most unendurable factor haunting Pakistani politics-military powergame is – it excludes civil society. In the process, Pakistan inherently has to do with anti-thesis of democracy. The system – how much faulty – actually provides cover for civilian political delinquency and military ambitions. Former Indian foreign minister Jaswant Singh once explained – this is why military and Prime Minister in Pakistan are more often forced to work in tandem and yet appear to be at cross purposes. 

In case of aberrations, there are other factors to argue about, presumably.

First question is, who is the boss in Pakistan, the chief of armed staff or the Prime Minister? 
Do we know Pakistani military’s attitude to Modi’s stopover in Lahore in December 2015?  To recap, after Atal Behari Vajpayee’s visit to Lahore in 1999, we had Kargil; Mumbai 26/11 came about arguably after some progress in the backchannel talks. In 2016, so we had Pathankot. If that was not enough- around nine months after, we had Uri wee hours holocaust.

Now, India is virtually pushed to act. Even domestic forces – those who are generally known for avoiding jingoism – have challenged Prime Minister Modi to act firmly.
Others say – India’s faulty policy in Jammu and Kashmir would get the Modi government on its nose.

Even on September 18 afternoon hours after the horrifying attack including with
the use of "incendiary" arms by the terrorists as claimed by Director General, military Operations, Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh, a feeling went on in social networking that despite initial reactions New Delhi will be forced to negotiating table.

In the words of former army chief  Gen (Retd) Bikram Singh, "Let's be very forthright. It has been supplied by Pakistan. It is ordinance ammunition made by the ordinance factory of the army and has white phosphorous content. It is not available off the shelf. Therefore it only supports the point that it (the attack) was supported and sponsored by Pakistani establishment”. 
Did Nawaz get a snub?
One does not rule out dialogue especially because US and others would disfavor conflict between two Nuke powers. But India seems serious today about what all has happened.

Indications are on that the Uri terror attack has left Modi anguished – even personally - in more ways than one – as it seeks to belittle his efforts to building up an atmosphere of dialogue with Pakistan. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has thus called Pakistan a “terror state” and demanded that efforts be made to “isolate” Pakistan internationally.

Minister of State for Defence, Subhash Bhamre has only endorsed these lines when he said, “Pakistan has a history of fomenting trouble in Jammu and Kashmir. In spite of this, we tried to resolve the issue peacefully, but we have realised that Pakistan is not sincere towards peace... We (Government of India) have changed our policy".
These are not only specific words but also signal that New Delhi this time around wants to take on Pakistan and its vicious circle of “talks-Kashmir-terrorism” head on. The Ministry of External Affairs is learnt to be enlisting support of SAARC members like Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka for the same at the regional level.

So far, India has got “in principle” support from the United States, Russia and also United Kingdom. Nawaz Sharif’s America trip so far has turned damp squib.
His soliciting the “world support” has practically no takers in western world. Pakistan and even pro-Pakistan sympathizers in India (anti-Modi and the rest for whatever reasons) would do well to realize that unlike the past Islamabad’s utility to the western powers is evaporating. No foster guardian actually cares much about a baby which is no longer useful.

On the other hand, India has also emerged as a potentially major player in Asia as well as global platform. By contrast, Pakistan has an image of a “failed state”, an “economically challenged” entity whose advocacy of the Kashmir cause is an obsession and thus like a liability. International community by traditon has hated to shoulder the burden of other nations.  

Security experts in New Delhi now, therefore, say, - Pakistan would be compelled to enlist the support of Kashmiri diaspora to internationalise Kashmir imbroglio.

Indian foreign policy engine room, the powerful PMO – is also assessing Pakistan’s next move vis-à-vis China and Islamic world – a real source of inspiration for Islamabad.

I also wrote – almost unknowingly -- KASH YEH KASH NAHI HOTA... BHAI BHAI HEE HOTEY......EK MUSALMAN...EK KAFIR NAHI HOTA.....



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