Ceasefire Violations: How India Can ‘Destroy’ Pakistan
The article was written after the successful Surgical Strikes by India, last year, in PoK, that led to the death of many terrorists.
In terms of shock and anger, we are moving on from the death of our soldiers, from the strikes that took place in PoK (yes, they took place, and if you are skeptical about it, I recommend you leave the page and entertain your petty mind with an AIB video), and are now witnessing another political threshold. The likes of Kejriwal and Rahul Gandhi are busy building a false perception around the surgical strikes, not because they don’t believe in it, but because they can’t endorse its existence. Within, Kejriwal and his ISI friends, Rahul Gandhi and his Italian friends, they all do realize that a surgical strike has happened, but they won’t accept it, for if they do, they shall indirectly be endorsing the able leadership of the PM. Today, as we see martyrdom of our soldiers being insulted, their courage being questioned, and their lives being termed as unimportant against Fawad Khan’s looks and Om Puri’s cinematic prowess, we must ponder, what really happened that warranted a reaction of this proportion from Pakistan and its sympathizers?
Needless to say, our country is plagued with the sympathizers of our enemy. They have been vocal in the past few days. Corrupt CMs, politicians born with a silver spoon, authors, actors, and comedians haven’t shied away from projecting the bravery of our soldiers as a gimmick. While some may confuse their skepticism to be another critical pillar of democracy, in reality, it is nothing but a cheap attempt to garner attention and importance. In an attempt to defame the PM, they have defamed the nation, and they shall continue to do so on national and international platforms (Kejriwal has a scheduled trip to Karachi next year for the Literature Festival). However, this should not stop the Indian leadership from its consistent efforts to expose Pakistan, to eliminate militants, and not to isolate our enemy nation in a diplomatic sense.
Before we move on, let us understand who our enemy actually is. Unlike what many liberals and intellectuals want you to believe, the actors and artists are not seen as enemies of and by the Indian State. Proxy wars and terrorist groups are the biggest enemies of our nation, and these are sponsored by Pakistan. The war is not against the civilians of Pakistan. India, unlike the US, is not going to do to Pakistan what the US did to Afghanistan and Iraq in a futile pursuit, unless provoked. When school kids are butchered in Peshawar, every Indian citizen stands with Pakistan in the hour of grief, and when the same terrorism kills armed officers on the LoC or innocent people in the city of Mumbai, it can’t be condemned by the Pakistani artists and intellectuals that work here. This selective criticism, this hypocrisy, this is what turned the people of our nation against Pakistan’s intellectual exports to India. Tomorrow, if a comedian with his brain muscled by the fat in his body (sorry, only exercising my Freedom of Speech) wants you to believe that democracy entitles everyone to have or not have an opinion over a massacre, he actually wants you to believe that it is alright to spit on the face of the one who helps you with your finances; could be your mom too or worse, sit in a Jewish household and call the holocaust Hitler’s freedom since it was conducted in Germany.
As I write this article, Kapil Sibal continues to accuse the Indian leadership of harboring terrorist groups and being the cause of terrorism (because 26/11 was RSS’ work, you see), but the truth remains that the strikes of 29th September changed Pakistan forever. While Congress had grown habitual to being kicked in its shallow Italian balls by Pakistan, the former Gujarat CM gave it back and gave it back hard. However, one surgical strike doesn’t change anything. There is a long way to go for India for it to ensure peace on its borders. The prolonged war of theatrics with Pakistan is a thing of the past now. Today, we are looking at a war that is not nuclear but hurts Pakistan’s economy, credibility, and diplomatic standing. The question is, how can it be done?
For India, it is important that the same leadership continues after 2019. Hypothetically, if AAP or Congress comes into play at the Centre, one can expect a complete reversal of India’s policy against Pakistan, both militarily and diplomatically. Congress, as it has been demonstrating since 1947, has a soft corner for everything Pakistan exports, be it singers or terrorists. Today, there is an aggressive campaign being rolled out against the PM. First, the strikes were called fake, then it was said that these strikes were carried out in the past too which turned out to be another lie, and tomorrow, someone from Congress or AAP is going to tell you that Modi manufactured a war against Pakistan for his political gains. For Pakistan to be shown its right place, India needs Modi. Given we are just 3 years away from the next National Election, one can’t expect Modi or his Cabinet to focus on Pakistan and tackling cheap PR stunts alone as there are countless other schemes that require addressing. Ever wondered why you are not being told about the villages that are being electrified, about the bank accounts that are being opened, or about the progressive path our Economy is on? Recently. India jumped 16 positions to 39 in Global Competitiveness Index (Pakistan is 122), and with GST coming in next year, this position is all set to improve, and yet no one in the mainstream media or ‘award-return’ gang cared to tell you. Think about it, and think ten times before you believe in something that is being told through the media. In the long run, the National Elections are the first step to making Pakistan bleed.
The next step is diplomacy, but who do we count on? Sadly, Modi has lost the upper hand against China given the trade surplus the latter holds. While trade with China can boost India’s economy too, one cannot disregard China’s hefty investment in CPEC. Recently, Pakistan borrowed a loan amounting to $8bn dollars for repairing its railway line from China. The CPEC investment holds China back from pulling up Pakistan, and India, in the long run, must counter this threat. Fortunately, even the Chinese dragon has been growing wary by the terrorism in Pakistan. However, India needs to do more to expose this terrorism. The US canceled its military aid to Pakistan, but there is no assurance that it won’t be resumed. Given the fact that we are going to have a President no less than a Disney character running the Oval Office this January, we can’t rely on the US for long. While China sees CPEC, US sees an exuberant opportunity in the Indo-Pak crisis for its arms sales to India. However, don’t we know this already? China is going to do trade at both ends, much like the US where war is a serious business. We can’t entirely depend on both, and we can’t do without both, so what do we do?
This is where SAARC comes in. In the long run, India should focus on SAARC without Pakistan. Trade should go on as usual with the other SAARC nations, along with being complemented by a diplomatic approach on all fronts that further isolates Pakistan. While Pakistan can please itself believing that CPEC can change its economy for good, India would have surged long ahead for the former to be any formidable competition to our state. Also, the work on Chabahar port should also be accelerated for trade to shift there, along with cultural and trading interactions with other nations in the Gulf.
The economy is going to help strengthen India’s defense and diplomatic standing as a flourishing economy would ensure more investments in the country from US and China, and would inspire other SAARC nations to enhance their trade with India. For the ones who believed that PM’s open call to Pakistani citizens for a competition on economic front during his speech in Kerala was a shallow theatric, it actually made a lot of sense. Through its economy, India would be able to enhance its credibility on the world stage which would be essential to pressurize Pakistan in every sense. If Hillary Clinton gets the Oval Office, rest assured that Pakistan would enjoy the protection from the US after every failed attack on the Indian soil, and therefore, through a strong economy, India can not only deflect any diplomatic stress from the US (as happened this time), but also play the victim card well to further expose Pakistan.
India’s economics and diplomacy would have to complement each other.
Yes, we could revoke the MFN status to Pakistan, and we must, but that won’t bring much harm to Pakistan as already there isn’t a lot of trade that goes on across the border. Reviewing the Indus Water Treaty is an option, but it could take us an entire decade before we figure out a way to put that water to good use. Also, let’s not forget the liberals who are going to crazy over the thought of a dam on the Indus River. While the treaty should be on India’s agenda, in the long run, MFN status should be done away with right now. In the past too, many cement traders have called for an import duty on the cement that is imported from Pakistan, but it has not been implemented yet. Also, revoking MFN could send a strong signal to Pakistan that India means business, and could be a cause of concern for the looming scorpion in our neighborhood. In economic terms, there are few other steps India could take right away. A recent report in Pakistan’s newspaper ‘Dawn’, suggested that without any Indian release, the multiplexes would be out of business in one year. Ignoring what Salman Khan thinks (if he thinks), India should forbid producers from releasing their movies in Pakistan. We can agree that it won’t do good to our ultimate objective of eliminating terrorism, but it would send another strong signal to Pakistan. Alongside, India should cut down imports where it can.
The economy is our biggest weapon against Pakistan, and we are doing well to enhance it. However, there is the military aspect we mustn’t forget. Pakistan, today, supports 6 major terrorist groups that work to destabilize India and its aspirations. These are the Afghan Taliban and its contemporary, Haqqani Network, the Mullah Nazir group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Harakat-ul-Mujahideen, and Congress’ subject of rambling today, Jaish-e-Mohammed. Please don’t confuse them to be the only terrorist groups supported by Pakistan as there are many other. Through a better economy, India must invest heavily in its defense and intelligence along the LoC. I’d take this space to salute the great work being done by our soldiers in keeping the imaginary heavenly virgins busy since the Uri attack. In the future, the foiled infiltrations should be accompanied by surgical strikes as and when required. India shouldn’t wait to be attacked, but in the name of anti-terrorist operations, kill as many cockroaches as and when it desires. The government should look to complement the efforts of the armed forces with the best equipment in the world. This would be instrumental in exposing cross-border terrorism.
To quote a recent report from the Economist published after the Uri attacks, “Our air defense is in a shocking state,” says Ajai Shukla, a commentator on military affairs. “What’s in place is mostly 1970s vintage, and it may take ten years to install the fancy new gear.” On paper, India’s air force is the world’s fourth largest, with around 2,000 aircraft in service. But an internal report seen in 2014 by IHS Jane’s, a defense publication, revealed that only 60% were typically fit to fly. A report earlier this year by a government accounting agency estimated that the “serviceability” of the 45 MiG 29K jets that are the pride of the Indian navy’s air arm ranged between 16% and 38%. They were intended to fly from the carrier currently under construction, which was ordered more than 15 years ago and was meant to have been launched in 2010. According to the government’s auditors the ship, after some 1,150 modifications, now looks unlikely to sail before 2023.”
Clearly, India needs to do more for its armed forces. Perhaps, this is the reason why our focus on the economy is so important. To make Pakistan bleed, it is not important for us to go to war, or for a Kargil-like the battle. What we need is an economy so strong and vibrant that it has a respectable standing against the likes of China and USA, and should succeed in projecting Pakistan as a completely failed state. In the real world, the battle of diplomacy is won through an economy, and India must do well there. India needs to emerge as one of the top twenty economic powers in the world in the next two years. Currently ranked 39, India should make inroads for a spot in the top 20 by the end of 2018 in the Global Competitiveness Index.
Pakistan is too thick-skinned to be stopped by a single surgical strike, or even 10. Whatever policy NDA looks to adopt against Pakistan, it should focus on making the latter look like a failed state, lacking any credentials and hope. For China to find any success with CPEC by 2025, the elimination of terrorism would be important, and that is what India strives for too. On a diplomatic chessboard, Pakistan is already isolated by its obligation to China and its helplessness against the Indian leadership.
If the citizens of this nation continue to support the PM and NDA for the right reasons, Pakistan will continue to bleed. Eventually, it is going to roll over in its own pain and disintegrate. For India to answer Pakistan, the clue lies in its economy, and that is where it must accelerate its efforts. Alongside, India can carry out as many surgical strikes as it desires, but they should all be carried out in the backdrop of a strong economy; also, the same backdrop can help Narendra Modi register a victory with his voters and against Pakistan, his victory being essential to the future of India.
Originally published at rightlog.in on October 9, 2016.