The vehemence with which Pakistan has reacted to prime minister Narendra Modi’s statement that it is waging a “proxy war” (by sending terrorists into Kashmir) betrays a misplaced show of innocence by a country which is universally held responsible for exporting terror to India. Modi’s comment while addressing troops in Leh that “the neighbouring country has lost the strength to fight a conventional war but continues to engage in the proxy war of terrorism” was a timely caveat to Pakistan to mend its ways and not test India’s patience. India has repeatedly drawn attention to the proxy war but it either falls on deaf ears or the Pakistan government is incapable of reining in its army and unwilling to accept its incapacity. It is not anybody’s case that Pakistan has not been a victim of terror but by sowing seeds of terror to spite India it is reaping the effects of nurturing terrorists within.
In the current exchange, the Pakistan high commissioner has gone to the extent of saying that the terrorist movement in Jammu and Kashmir needs to be given moral, material and all other forms of support. This is high-handedness at its worst which exposes the designs of the Pakistan establishment that holds a dagger behind its back and then talks peace. After their disastrous showing in the 1971 war when over 90,000 Pakistani troops had to surrender to the Indian army, and the Kargil hostilities where Pakistani army infiltrators were thrown back, the Pakistanis have stepped up the proxy war as a strategy to needle the Indian forces.
Clearly, India’s stand that there cannot be talks for establishing durable peace until Pakistan gives up its nefarious designs of smuggling terrorists to Kashmir is unexceptionable. The Modi government must review the secretary-level talks that it has agreed to if Pakistan does not give up its ridiculous approach. The message must go out loud and clear that Pakistan must stop the proxy war if it seriously wants good neighbourly relations with India. They must rein in the army if it stands in the way.