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OPINION

Manmohan Singh's Faulty Pakistan Policy
J. N. RAINA

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while delivering the panic button, stunned the nation recently that based on certain intelligence inputs from across the border, ‘terrorist groups’ –Pakistan calls them non-state actors—were planning fresh attacks in India. Addressing Chief Ministers’ conference on internal security, he acknowledged the fact that there were some ‘disturbing trends’, which had resulted in iciness between India and Pakistan. He revealed that the level of infiltration had seen an upswing this year.

This assessment was followed by credible reports that Pakistan has been expanding its nuclear and conventional forces aimed at India. The beleaguered country—which can be likened to a sinking ship—riven with civil strife and chaos in NWFP, has been illegally modifying American-made missiles, in violation of the US Arms Control Export Act It has stealthily modified Harpoon anti-ship missiles, which the U S sold in the 1980s. Will U S President Barack Obama caution Pakistan not to play with fire, by orchestrating another Mumbai-type attack on India?

Key Lashkar-e-Toiba operatives, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah, have confessed about their involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks. It is still to be made public but surprisingly our Prime Minister continues his blab that “Unless we want to go to war with Pakistan, dialogue is the only way out. But we should do so on the basis of trust, but verify.” One would like to know, what is there to trust and verify? Pakistan has made a fool of us not once but several times. India is still groping in the dark. We are already at war with Pakistan. What is there to verify and trust a cunning neighbour?

We trusted former Pakistan Premier Z A Bhutto at Shimla, after a decisive victory in 1971 war, and saw the result subsequently. Had the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi not been taken in by Bhutto—who literally knelt before her—the shape of things in the subcontinent would have been different. There would have been a lot of economic development on either side of the Line of Control (LoC), which Bhutto had verbally agreed to convert into a permanent border. That is the rub with our leadership, who have trusted Pakistan, but without any reciprocity. This is the history sheet of our nation. We cannot help it. We do not learn from past mistakes.

After Pakistan was vanquished in 1971 war, Bhutto just behaved like Mohammed Ghauri and stabbed her in the back. It is a historical fact that in 1191, Prithviraj Chauhan had defeated Ghauri in the first battle of Tarain, but he (Prithviraj) took pity on him and allowed Ghauri to escape. In 1192, Ghauri came back with a vengeance and not only defeated Prithviraj, but also captured and killed him. There is a parallel between Prithviraj and Ghauri on the one side and between Indira Gandhi and Bhutto on the other. Had Prithviraj not been compassionate, India would not have been subjugated for 800 years under foreign rule. Prithviraj’s defeat brought a civilisational change.

Likewise, Shimla fiasco altered the equilibrium in the region. After Bhutto returned to Islamabad, he roared like a lion and declared: “We will eat grass and save every pie to manufacture an Islamic bomb.” That denotes Pakistan’s determination to continue proxy war ‘of a thousand cuts’ on India, which began when Pakistan sponsored militancy in Punjab and provoked ‘Khalistan’ moment. Thousands of people were killed. There was unwanted Blue Star operation, affecting the psyche of a vast section of the Indian community. The second phase of militancy began in 1989 when Pakistan sponsored militancy in Kashmir.

Pakistan has been using non-state actors like Lashkar, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen in what is known as ‘sub-conventional war’ against India. Mark what our Prime Minister’s response: “I told them (Pakistan) that another attack of this kind (Mumbai-type) will put an intolerable strain on our relationship….” Is Pakistan bothered about its relationship with India? Now these non-state actors are engineering another 26/11type attack on India, aided and abetted by state actors in Pakistan. What is there to verify and trust? One does not understand who is the real ‘boss’ in Pakistan; the Army, the ISI, non-state actors or Zardari. Several hundred Taliban along with civilians, are being butchered on daily basis by the Pakistan Army. They are not trusted even by their own people. Pakistan is engaged in a war on itself. Any doubt?

The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is busy in carrying out detestable operations against India on various fronts. To weaken India’s economy, it has opened a new front in Nepal, from where cheap counterfeit notes, printed in Pakistan, are pumped into India. There is no end to such designs. Since the civilian government came into existence, it has been rapidly increasing nuclear arsenal. Reports suggest that Islamabad has 70 to 90 nuclear war heads under its belly. It is in possession of sophisticated bomb designs and smart delivery system. India is its main target. On the contrary, Pakistan has been seeking international aid worth billions of dollars, which they misuse for purchasing sophisticated arms against India.

While the US winks and blinks at Pakistan’s clandestine acts, China helps it in acquiring nuclear weapons, to keep India at bay. What is left for India to trust Pakistan, which has been begging, borrowing and stealing such weapons of mass destruction, thanks to infamous Pakistan nuclear scientist A Q. Khan? According to U S nuclear scientists, Pakistan is ‘busily enhancing its capabilities across the board’. New nuclear-capable ballistic missiles are being readied for development. Besides, an equal number of nuclear-capable cruise missiles are under development.

The scientists are of the view that Pakistan’s weapons and delivery system are India-specific. Pakistan has no enemy other than India. Intriguingly, now Pakistan asks the US to sanction its unique ‘lend-lease’ facility for military equipment for its Army. The US is bound to oblige Pakistan, because it is ‘performing’ according to US command. Pakistan is doing a good job of ‘annihilating’ self-created Taliban. It will be tempted to do more. To sow seeds of terror and then seek substantial aid from US to destroy the ‘crop’ is a good incentive. What is there to trust and verify? If Pakistan can kill its own people to keep the US happy and get aid to carry on, can this country be trusted?

One does not understand about India’s wishy-washy attitude. Why are we so apologetic about Balochistan? As such, New Delhi is not involved in that troubled region. It is a reflection on Pakistan’s performance. When Punjab was on the boil, Pakistani officials would openly tell their Indian counterparts: “Yes, Pakistan is involved in Punjab, do whatever you can.”

India should reciprocate in an equal measure, rather than give explanations, plead ‘not guilty’ and request Pakistan not to embark upon another misadventure. Simply put, this shows India’s weakened policy to deal with the most hostile country. India should tell Pakistan sternly: “Yes, we have the capacity to bring ‘hell’ to Pakistan and reciprocate, if it does not behave”.

India has to change its mindset vis-à-vis Pakistan and China. The latter has grabbed our territory and continues its incursions.



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