India has lacked a coherent and consistent policy to counter Pakistan or resolve the Kashmir problem. It is high time that we evolved such a policy. Indian public sentiment is rightly against a reactionary or pacifist policy against Pakistan. In this blog an attempt is made to recommend a coherent, consistent and proactive policy for Pakistan & Kashmir.
Important Facts about Pakistan
- Pakistan Army controls the country’s foreign policy.
- Pakistan is committed to sustain its preeminent status in Pakistan. To do so it needs an enemy and that is India.
- Indians are satisfied with the status-quo as regards the border, LOC or Kashmir but Pakistanis are not. Pakistanis want to wrest Kashmir by any means. In case Kargil had become successful then Musharraf would have become a bigger hero than Jinnah in Pakistan.
- With ‘Taliban Khan’ as PM now the power of military and religious fundamentalists is as great now as it was in the time of Zia-ul-Haq.
- Pro-peace civilians represented by someone like Nawaz Sharif stand weakened.
- China has an economic strangle-hold over Pakistan now and it is having an increasing political control which will soon become greater than what US ever had over Pakistan.
- China is seeking economic domination of the world & is unlikely to seriously support Pakistan’s export of terrorism because it is inimical to China’s long term interests.
Facts about Kashmir
- A large number of Indians want to hold onto the Kashmir land but give a damn as to what happens to the Kashmiri Muslims.
- The ‘Hindutva’ agenda promoting present government has increased the alienation of Muslims in general and Kashmiri Muslims in particular.
Understanding Pakistan and International Actions
- Pakistan is an Enemy. Indians should realize that Pakistan is continuing a war with India. The intensity of this war has waxed and waned but not ended.
- Call Pakistan’s Nuclear Bluff. India had called Pakistan’s nuclear bluff in the Kargil war. It should not deter military action in POK in the future.
- Ignore Chinese Military Collusion with Pakistan. China is a sensible and responsible power, focused on economic growth. It has displayed a consistent foreign policy. China’s concern is the security of the ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). China is unlikely to support proxy war being conducted by Pakistan and deliberate provocations of Indian military. Thus limited actions against Pakistani Army and terrorists are unlikely to invite any Chinese military response.
- If US and Israel can Act Proactively, then so Can India. US and Israel have proactively undertaken retaliatory strikes against enemies and terrorists. Even Russia does not bother for world opinion. India should also do the same without overly worrying about world opinion.
Don’t Repeat Past Mistakes
- Attempts to Improve Relations with Pakistan are Waste of Time. Efforts by Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh and Modi have proved futile. India should not waste time on such efforts.
- Operation Parakram (Military Deployment in 2001-02). While 527 soldiers were killed during the Kargil conflict in 1999, India lost 798 soldiers without going to war during Operation Parakram. India also suffered numerous civilian casualties due to own mines. This was a serious mistake and should not be repeated.
- Sustain Pressure on Pakistan. Diplomatic, economic and military pressure must be proactively maintained on Pakistan. Whenever India has reduced pressure on Pakistan, it has reciprocated with terrorist strikes. Pressure on Pakistan should be sustained till it is taught to behave.
- Pakistani Leaders are Liars: Pakistani leadership has historically lied to India and the world. It makes sense to not trust Pakistani leaders.
- Change of Pakistan Policy with Change of Power. Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh and recently Modi were all guilty of trying to prove historically great leaders for brokering peace with Pakistan. India needs a proactive leader who should try to record his name in history for teaching Pakistan a lesson & not for creating peace because it is not possible.
- Get in War Mode. No declaration of war against Pakistan is required. We should take all measures taken upon declaration of war:
- Terminate all diplomatic and commercial ties with Pakistan.
- Legitimize killing of Pakistani combatants, seizure of property and apprehension of combatants.
- Feel free to undertake military actions in POK on terrorists as well as posts across the LOC.
- Sustain Military Offensive. Proactive and offensive stance is not proposed for a few months but for a period of about 5 years, or less, in case Pakistan begs forgiveness in a shorter time frame.
- Proactive Military Strikes and 3-4 Times Higher Retaliation. India should continue proactive military strikes on Pakistan as a routine measure. Any terrorist or military strike must be retaliated with 3-4 times greater intensity. Army and Air Force should be freely used against Pakistan.
- Bleed Pakistan. Promote bleeding of Pakistan Army with collusion with Baloch freedom struggle and act against Pakistan Army and Pakistan sponsored terrorists through active military support of Afghanistan.
- Replicate Osama Bin Laden Killing. India should replicate Osama Bin Laden killing by US by killing Dawood and Hafiz Saeed within one year inside Pakistan. If India can spend crores on Ajmal Kasab, a Rs 100 crores budget ‘supari’ to kill these terrorists will be highly worth it.
- Coerce Pakistan to Beg for Peace. By consistent military strikes India should coerce Pakistan to beg for peace. India should impose following conditions for peace:
- Handing over of all terrorists facing charges in India.
- One year of proof of non –promotion of terrorism by Pakistan.
- Destruction of all terrorist camps in Pakistan controlled territory.
- Strengthen Peace Constituency. India should try to strengthen the hands of the sane constituency which wants peaceful relations with India through all overt and covert means.
- India should proactively work to dismantle the strangle hold of the Army, terrorists and Islamic radicals over Pakistan through all overt and covert means.
- India should promote diplomatic isolation of Pakistan in all fora.
Indian government and Indians should work to stop the anti-Muslim and anti-Kashmiri Muslims sentiments and actions. It is difficult to do so but must be done if we don’t want to lose Kashmir. We can’t retain Kashmir land without the Kashmiri people.