India/Pakistan — Dealing with Pakistan: Time to Face Realities

Even a casu­al vis­i­tor to Pak web­sites and blogs gets shocked to see venal­i­ty of com­ments against India. There is hard­ly a sane voice that advo­cates need to pro­mote ami­ty. Strange­ly, every com­ment con­sid­ers India and Hin­duism to be syn­ony­mous. India bash­ing always degen­er­ates into Hin­du bash­ing by paint­ing every issue with com­mu­nal colour.

His­to­ry of deceit and duplic­i­ty: One may not ful­ly agree with for­mer Aus­tralian Test umpire Dar­rell Hair’s descrip­tion of the Pak­istani crick­eters as ‘cheats, frauds and liars’. But the fact is that the whole world con­sid­ers Pak­istan to be an untrust­wor­thy and deceit­ful nation. Inde­pen­dent Pak­istan start­ed its track record with treach­ery. Start­ing with the Kash­mir betray­al; Pak­istan has made deceit and duplic­i­ty to be its nation­al pol­i­cy. Despite hav­ing signed a ‘stand­still agree­ment’ with the state of Jam­mu and Kash­mir, Pak­istan unleashed Pash­tun maraud­ers on the hap­less Kash­mir val­ley with the active par­tic­i­pa­tion of Pak Army.

Breach­ing under­tak­ings giv­en to the US, it sur­rep­ti­tious­ly used Amer­i­can equip­ment to launch a sur­prise attack on Kutch in April 1965. Even before the ink had dried on the Kutch agree­ment, Pak­istan was back to its treach­er­ous ways. Covert­ly, it infil­trat­ed its forces into Kash­mir, expect­ing a local upris­ing against India. Under the Tashkent agree­ment, India agreed to return the strate­gic Haji Pir pass to Pak­istan, in exchange for an under­tak­ing by Pak­istan to abjure the use of force to set­tle mutu­al dis­putes and adher­ence to the prin­ci­ples of non-inter­fer­ence. How­ev­er, Pak­istan con­tin­ued its proxy war through its noto­ri­ous secret agen­cies. Sanc­tu­ar­ies and safe pas­sage were pro­vid­ed to under­ground ele­ments of north-east­ern India.

With­out learn­ing from the past expe­ri­ence, India agreed to release 96,000 Pak­istani Pris­on­ers of War (PoWs) after 1971 war. In exchange, India accept­ed a solemn ver­bal under­tak­ing by Bhut­to that Pak­istan would accept LOC as the de fac­to bor­der. India once again let Pak­istan bluff its way through. Bhut­to nev­er intend­ed to abide by his word. Worse, to avenge its defeat, Pak­istan redou­bled its efforts to cre­ate tur­moil in India.

Under the Sim­la agree­ment, all PoWs were to be exchanged. Where­as India kept its word, Pak­istan, true to its nature, dis­hon­est­ly kept back 54 Indi­an PoWs out of 617 PoWs held by it. It is appre­hend­ed that they are still rot­ting in var­i­ous Pak jails.

While the Indi­an lead­er­ship was try­ing to break ice through ‘bus diplo­ma­cy’ in 1998–99, Pak­istani mil­i­tary brass was busy plan­ning the noto­ri­ous Kargil incur­sion. Thus, Pak­istan remains incor­ri­gi­ble as a devi­ous and cun­ning neigh­bour.

Anti-Indi­an streak: Due to decades of indoc­tri­na­tion and brain­wash­ing, all Pak­ista­nis suf­fer from an extreme­ly bru­tal and vicious anti-Indi­an streak. While deal­ing with India, a strange sadis­tic instinct gets aroused that takes con­trol of their think­ing and behav­iour.

Despite India’s hon­ourable treat­ment of 96,000 Pak PoWs, the treat­ment met­ed out to the patrol led by Lt Saurabh Kalia in May 1999 by the Pak­istan Army will put even bar­bar­ians and ani­mals to shame for its sheer cru­el­ty. Defy­ing all con­ven­tions and norms of human­i­ty, Pak­ista­nis pierced their ears with hot rods, removed their eyes before punc­tur­ing them, broke most of the bones and chopped off var­i­ous limbs and pri­vate organs of the hap­less Indi­an sol­diers. After 22 days of tor­ture, the brave sol­diers were ulti­mate­ly shot dead. A detailed post-mortem report is with the Indi­an Army.

 -

The way for­ward

It is often said that those who do not learn from his­to­ry are doomed to repeat it. India has been repeat­ed­ly duped and cheat­ed by Pak­istan but con­tin­ues to enter­tain hopes of a change of heart while Pak­istan has made India the whip­ping boy for all the ills that it suf­fers. India is blamed for every ter­ror­ist strike in Pak­istan, whether on their mil­i­tary acad­e­my or on the Sri Lankan crick­et team. Peo­ple are told that evil India was respon­si­ble for caus­ing floods. Advis­er to the Prime Min­is­ter of Pak­istan on Edu­ca­tion, Sar­dar Aseff Ali accused India of steal­ing Pakistan’s waters and threat­ened to wage war with India. Anti-India pro­pa­gan­da goes to the ridicu­lous extent of accus­ing India of extract­ing elec­tric­i­ty from the riv­er waters flow­ing into Pak­istan, there­by ren­der­ing the waters worth­less.

India’s pol­i­cy of extend­ing a hand of friend­ship and accom­mo­da­tion has been a total fail­ure. On the con­trary, it has embold­ened Pak­istan into con­sid­er­ing India to be a soft state and increased its intran­si­gence and hard­ened its anti-India atti­tude. How to deal with an unrea­son­able and hos­tile neigh­bour con­tin­ues to be a con­vo­lut­ed dilem­ma for India

It is time India stops liv­ing in a fool’s par­adise and refor­mu­lates its Pak­istan pol­i­cy, keep­ing the fol­low­ing facts in mind:

  • Pak­istan was born on an anti-India plank and it is its only iden­ti­ty. Shed­ding of anti-India pos­ture would amount to ques­tion­ing the log­ic of its very cre­ation. There­fore, Pak­istan can­not afford to shed its antag­o­nism towards India.
  • Pak­istan can nev­er be India’s friend as the ven­om of anti-India feel­ing is too deeply ingrained and it will take gen­er­a­tions for it to abate. India’s uni­lat­er­al offer of friend­ship will always be rebuffed.
  • Deceit­ful­ness and duplic­i­ty is its state pol­i­cy and it can nev­er be trust­ed. Trust deficit is the anti-the­sis of ami­ty and it can­not be bridged eas­i­ly.
  • Harm­ing Indi­an inter­ests is the cor­ner­stone of its for­eign pol­i­cy. Attacks on Indi­an par­lia­ment, IT hub Ban­ga­lore and com­mer­cial cen­tre Mum­bai show cal­cu­lat­ed selec­tion of objec­tives. It nev­er miss­es an oppor­tu­ni­ty to embar­rass India in every world forum.

Every Indi­an Prime Min­is­ter made lib­er­al con­cil­ia­to­ry ges­tures in the mis­tak­en belief that he could make a place for him­self in the his­to­ry of the sub-con­ti­nent as the har­bin­ger of peace. One went to the ridicu­lous extent of ban­ning Indi­an secret agen­cies from oper­at­ing in Pak­istan. All were doomed to fail for the sim­ple rea­son that they were based more on hope than hard ground real­i­ties

India should stop claim­ing that a unit­ed Pak­istan is in India’s inter­ests. There can­not be a more blink­ered view. Nations born out of a per­se­cu­tion com­plex can nev­er rid them­selves of bit­ter­ness of his­to­ry. Their break-up is the only way out and India must encour­age that in its own secu­ri­ty inter­ests. Hav­ing failed to make Pak­istan see rea­son, India has no rea­son to be apolo­getic. Repeat­ed asser­tions of being a peace lov­ing state are invari­ably mis­con­strued as impo­tence of a soft state.

A proac­tive pol­i­cy should be fol­lowed to make friends with the coun­tries who feel threat­ened by the growth of ter­ror­ism in Pak­istan. Simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, lever­ag­ing its enor­mous eco­nom­ic clout, India must con­vey its dis­plea­sure to coun­tries that help Pak­istan pass anti-India res­o­lu­tions in var­i­ous comi­ties of nations. No nation that sup­ports Pakistan’s anti-Indi­an motions can claim to be India’s friend. It is time India asserts itself.

To hate and cheat India is Pakistan’s nation­al obses­sion. It is time India accepts this bit­ter fact and mod­i­fies its approach accord­ing­ly. Affa­ble state­ments made by a few retired crick­eters and singers are of no import as they vis­it India only to make mon­ey, they have to be pro­fes­sion­al­ly cor­rect. Their mas­querad­ing as ambas­sadors of friend­ship is of lit­tle con­se­quence.

As a mat­ter of pol­i­cy, India should nev­er trust Pakistan’s word. It has been tak­en for a ride for far too long. Pak­istan is adept at play­ing dou­ble game and has mas­tered ‘cloak and dag­ger’ pol­i­cy. Under world pres­sure it may be forced to wear a mask of rea­son­able­ness and friend­ship, but the irrefutable fact is that India will always remain Pakistan’s eter­nal ene­my.

Were India to hand over Kash­mir to it on a plat­ter, Pak­istan will invent new­er issues to keep the pot boil­ing. Dis­cord and acri­mo­ny would con­tin­ue as always

There­fore, India should stop dream­ing of hav­ing a friend­ly neigh­bour in Pak­istan. The his­to­ry of past 64 years has amply proved the futil­i­ty of enter­tain­ing such hopes. There­fore, it will be in India’s own inter­ests to get rec­on­ciled to an antag­o­nis­tic Pak­istan and tai­lor its approach accord­ing­ly. India should aim at min­imis­ing and if pos­si­ble neu­tral­is­ing, Pakistan’s threat to Indi­an secu­ri­ty and nation­al inter­ests by aggres­sive mea­sures.

Rogue coun­tries like Pak­istan do not believe in inter­na­tion­al con­ven­tions and shame­less­ly flout them. The only lan­guage they under­stand is of strength and ret­ri­bu­tion. India must make it amply clear to Pak gov­ern­ment that every anti-India mis­chief would invite imme­di­ate reprisal and that no trans­gres­sion will go unpun­ished

About the Author
Maj Gen (Dr) Mri­nal Suman AVSM, VSM (retd)
The writer heads Defence Tech­ni­cal Assess­ment and Advi­so­ry Ser­vice (DTAAS) of Con­fed­er­a­tion of Indi­an Indus­try (CII). He did MSc in Defence Stud­ies and Doc­tor­ate in Pub­lic Admin­is­tra­tion. He com­mand­ed an Engi­neer Reg­i­ment in the most hos­tile bat­tle­field in the world i.e., the Siachen Glac­i­er. He was award­ed a gold medal for being ‘the most out­stand­ing engi­neer of the year’. He was the first Tech­ni­cal Man­ag­er [Land Sys­tems] when the new­ly cre­at­ed Acqui­si­tion Wing was estab­lished in the Min­istry of Defence in 2001. He has been close­ly asso­ci­at­ed with the evo­lu­tion and pro­mul­ga­tion of the new defence pro­cure­ment mech­a­nism.

Note by the Author:
A proac­tive pol­i­cy should be fol­lowed to make friends with the coun­tries who feel threat­ened by the growth of ter­ror­ism in Pak­istan. Simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, lever­ag­ing its enor­mous eco­nom­ic clout, India must con­vey its dis­plea­sure to coun­tries that help Pak­istan pass anti-India res­o­lu­tions in var­i­ous comi­ties of nations. No nation that sup­ports Pakistan’s anti-Indi­an motions can claim to be India’s friend. It is time India asserts itself

Defence and Secu­ri­ty Alert (DSA
Defence and Secu­ri­ty Alert (DSA) mag­a­zine is the only ISO 9001:2008 cer­ti­fied, pre­mier world class, new wave month­ly mag­a­zine which fea­tures par­a­digm chang­ing in-depth analy­ses on defence, secu­ri­ty, safe­ty and sur­veil­lance, focus­ing on devel­op­ing and strate­gic future sce­nar­ios in India and around the world.

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →