The war of 1971 is a manual for Modi on how to reconfigure democracy in the region in 2016

Published: 02nd October 2016 04:35 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd October 2016 04:51 PM   |  A+A-


PM Narendra Modi (right) and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif

The Sun Tzu of the Occident, Baron von Clausewitz famously said war is the continuation of politics by other means. The Narendra Modi government’s decisive decision to order surgical strikes on terror camps on September 29 across LoC goes beyond the compulsions of populist politics. It demonstrates India’s nationalist nerve to neutralise the rhetoric of PoPs—Pak-occupied Peaceniks.
The Indian Prime Minister knows this is no time to give ear to the partisan panjandrums of peace. His priority now should be to isolate Pakistan further by adopting a two-pronged strategy—impose a four-week deadline to shut down terror camps and force it to arrest harbingers of death like Hafiz Sayeed and Mohammed Salahuddin who enjoy ISI hospitality and publicly scream for India’s blood. At home, the peacenik lobby should be speedily dismantled to prevent the agenda from being hijacked by junket-hungry NGOs who make a living off free track-II wine and cheese. Most insidious are ghazal diplomacy’s champions. It is a moral travesty for Pakistani singers to earn millions tax-free at big-ticket concerts in Indian cities while our soldiers are butchered in Kashmir. Modi should decapitate Pakistan’s Thousand Cuts Doctrine using a single sweep of the sudarshan chakra of righteous wrath. Since total war is a possibility because Pakistan is on the path of self-destruction, India has to keep on attacking to defend.
Modi should study the Morse code of history to interpret the signals of the past. Ever since Lord Mountbatten forced Jawaharlal Nehru to naively internationalise Kashmir at the UN in 1947, India has been at the mercy of parley pundits. In 1965, its Army’s victory was converted to compromise. The gutsy Lal Bahadur Shastri was forced to the signature table by Western powers and concede to Pakistan land conquered by our troops at the cost of many brave lives. It took a long decade and a determined Indira Gandhi to reverse this dismal record of capitulation and carve out Bangladesh from the bloody clutches of the Pak Army. The war of 1971 is a manual for Modi on how to reconfigure democracy in the region in 2016, especially now that he has demonstrated India’s supremacy and moral authority in SAARC by humiliating Pakistan.
Today, Modi has got the chance to redraw the geography of Pakistan like Indira Gandhi did. Carve out a new Bangladesh in Balochistan, whose people are being kidnapped, raped, tortured and killed by Pak soldiers. India’s incorrigible neighbour is facing more diplomatic demolition as South Block considers Baloch freedom fighter Brahamdagh Bugti’s asylum plea. Like in Bangladesh during its liberation war, India has a sympathetic population in Balochistan to help it sanitise the region of Pak oppression.  A free Balochistan and Sindh will remember Modi like Bangladesh remembers Indira Gandhi.
After the Uri attacks on September 18, Pakistan’s defence minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif had waved the nuclear sabre and threatened to “annihilate” India if attacked. But Modi has exposed Pakistan’s nuclear bluster. The punitive strikes last week saw India shedding its historic timidity on Pakistan. Deceptive doves roosting in South Block have routinely used the spectre of international opprobrium to deter India from responding in kind to its neighbour’s transgressions. The China card was being waved in India’s face by vested interests both at home and overseas as a cause for caution. If the chief minister of Punjab in Pakistan is to be believed, the dragon has vowed to defend its fatal friendship unilaterally in case of any “foreign aggression”. Even in 1965, China had threatened to militarily support its perfidious puppet, but was put in place by the Western powers. Today, America, a long-time ally and funder of Pakistan, acknowledges India’s South Asian clout. In 1971, it had rushed its Navy to the Bay of Bengal to signal that it would interfere if Mrs Gandhi attacked Pakistan. She called the White House’s bluff. She never liked the US or President Nixon. But now President Obama and Modi are selfie buddies. Although China and America got in touch with both India and Pakistan after the surgical strikes, armed intervention by the former is improbable. The Pak-China vector is based on imaginary leverage. It’s the economy, stupid.
India and China signed a trade agreement in 1984 as Most Favoured Nations. Chinese goods flood Indian markets. The country is our largest trading partner and India its seventh largest export destination. Chinese imports to India jumped to $52.26 billion in April-January. Despite signing agreements with Islamabad on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), nearly all projects concerning power generation, coal plants, water supply and treatment, land acquisition, health and smart city master plans are either delayed or haven’t taken off. Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper has reported that a Special Security Division of 9,000 Pakistan Army soldiers and 6,000 para-military personnel has been created for the security of the project and its staff. The CPEC, which runs through Balochistan and PoK, is under fire from India and Baloch activists. Chinese media reports hinted that its government is concerned over the“increasing cost of security” and “potential setbacks” for the $46-billion plan. Meanwhile India’s trade with the US—the Pak economy’s life support system—is expected to grow from $100 billion in 2015 to $500 billion in the nesr future. As the world’s response to India’s surgical strikes show, Pakistan’s expectations of receiving unilateral support from the superpowers is a pipe dream. China will keep its interests in Gilgit alive, but it will only bark, not bite.
Pakistan’s existence in its current form is a threat to the stability in the region. After the execution of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, by US special forces in 2011, Indian action against terrorism on Pak soil is the most visible proof that the world is united in its will to expose the failed terror state. India as a nation is more powerful than any ammunition. Modi has to consolidate his political will further by accelerating his military determination. A collateral advantage of bringing Pak to heel is that Kashmiri separatists will be afraid of Modi. The bonus is nascent rumblings of separatism in Punjab will also be stilled.


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