Chief of Army Staff Gen Deepak Kapoor has said that there are still 42 terror camps operating across the border in Pakistan in which 2000 to 2500 terrorists are still waiting to infiltrate into Indian side. (via 42 terror camps still active in Pakistan: Army chief- Hindustan Times).
Such cross-border firings did come down for some time after the two countries agreed to a ceasefire along the 198-km International Border in J&K, the 778-km LoC and the 150-km Actual Ground Position Line in Siachen on November 26, 2003.
But Pakistan army is now back to its old strategy of actively aiding and abetting infiltration, and the ceasefire is increasingly turning fragile. Army chief General Deepak Kapoor, in fact, recently said Pakistan army was trying to push in as many militants as possible before the mountain passes get snowed under. (via Terror infrastructure in Pak still intact: Antony – India – The Times of India).
So … if we know this … what are we doing about these 42 camps?
Post-Independence India has inherited a Pakistan Fixation, which predisposes us to whine – and demonize Pakistan. Endless whining about Pakistan’s bad deeds gets us nowhere. A ‘victorious’ Congress, ruling for most of the 60 years of post-colonial India, had three clear propaganda imperatives.
1 – TINA, There is no alternative
They needed to prove that it was only the Congress which could ‘take on’ and ‘defeat’ the ‘glorious and the mighty’ British Empire on which the sun never set. The logic went, “what could India(ns) have done without the Congress”. This thinking went deeper and dirtier, when a certain Deb Kant Barooah, declared “India is Indira and Indira is India.”
Similarly, Congress decided to re-write history and take all credit for the departure of the British colonialists. Contributions of leaders like SC Bose was ignored or the importance of the February 1946 joint action by the Indian Armed Forces against the colonial forces, was minimized to the ‘Naval Ratings Mutiny.’ Leaders like VD Savarkar (the first to write a non-colonial history of the War of 1857), or Shyama Prasad Mukherjee (the founder of the Jana Sangh-BJP) was dismissed as fascism.
Fact is, that Britain was bankrupt and could not hold onto India. Fact is, that for a 150 years – from 1797-1947, many rebellions, wars, individual hits were made against the colonial British Government. The myth of non-violent Indian freedom movement, served both colonial and Congress interests. It showed the British as ‘civilized’ colonialists – and the Congress as ‘enlightened’ leadership. Just like most Western literature caricatures African-American characters as hard-working, humble, docile, placid, obedient, gentle!
2 – If you don’t have an enemy, create one!
The Congress needed to create an enemy. A demon, who they could blame, use, abuse – and Pakistan fitted the bill perfectly. A failed state (!), a hotbed of terrorism – and to top it all, an Islamic State. What more could the West-Congress combine ask for?
Easily slipping into colonial legacy of ‘divide et impera’, the Congress went onto a disastrous foreign policy trail of Hindi-Chini bhai bhai. A solid realtionship with Pakistan would have, arguably, saved Tibet from the Chinese maws – which Nehru’s foreign policy predicated.
3 – Craven desires
To gain Western approval, acceptance, favours, privileges et al.
Consider the English language policy of the post-colonial Congress Government. It has massively subsidized English education in India so that the children of the elite could ‘escape’ to the West. The demeaning ‘population control theory’, the English language education – all, a result of this need of the Congress Party.
The deliberate colonial distortion of Indian history continues unchecked and unhindered. You only have to read Congress Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh’s speech at Oxford, praising the Raj, while receiving his honorary doctrate, or Chidambaram’s decision to end “abject poverty” in India that he seems to “have known for 5,000 years.”
When each of these elements are looked at in isolation, we can take benign view of these actions. When looked at collectively, it forms a clear pattern.
A rather ominous pattern.
The Root Of This Problem
The state of inter-government relations in South Asia is a sign of lazy Indian diplomatic corps (the IFS) which considers all these neighbourhood postings as ‘punishment’ postings. The ‘best’ of IFS corps wants postings to Western capitals. Like the IAS, the IFS is another albatross around India’s neck.
A large part of India’s Foreign Ministry budget goes towards Western engagement (for proof, look at the dubious Festivals of India in USA, France, Russia, Britain, etc). Instead if the same money was spent in the sub-continent, it would have been better spent. The huge monies spent on Western embassies are mis directed. It would be ideal if those Western embassies were Spartan, frugal (I should actually say Gandhian) – and our the money saved was invested in the sub-continent. India’s Western engagements are at a direct cost of involving and managing the neighbourhood relationships.
If India’s problems were limited to Pakistan, possibly, there is some merit to India’s Pakistan Fixation. India’s relations with its other neighbours are also in trouble. Its relations with Bangladesh are at a historic low. Relations with Sri Lanka are back from the brink. Nepal is the new fire in the sub-continent.
What should India do?
The other issue is that Indian bureaucrats whine. They issue empty threats – and take no follow up actions.
For instance, cut off Pakistan’s supplies of paper, inks, dies, presses, spares for the currency printing. Are things changing.? India has indeed has taken the first intelligent action (that I have seen) in a long time in handling Pakistan.
Next! Send a 100 Indian agents to lob grenades into Pakistani terrorists camps – every month. Just one grenade in one terrorist camp every month. Within the next 6 months the terror infrastructure of Pakistan will evaporate.
Other options India can consider.
- Zardari wants to export cement and sugar to India. India has a large market for both – and can easily absorb Pakistani exports. Tie these Pakistani exports to quantitative achievements in shutting down terror camps in Pakistan.
- Pakistan precarious financial position does not allow it the luxury of an arms race with India. Pakistan has access to Western technology for – in defence for RDX, machine guns, PACs, etc. The world must withdraw all technology from Pakistan for all arms and ammunition. No RDX, no tanks, no F-16s, no APCs. Pakistan must be put on strict diet of military technology blockade by the world. No less.
- Fake Indian currency notes are also allegedly coming out of technology supplied by Europeans. Close these channels. Pakistan’s suspected role in counterfeit currency operations must also be put under the scanner. Controlling Government’s of the 12 companies that dominate the currency printing business must be made to choose. Between India and Pakistan. If the German Government can arm twist their companies to suspend currency supply to Zimbabwe, there is no excuse for them to not to lean on dealings with Pakistan.
- Pakistani Hindus (especially Dalits) are crucial to Pakistan. Announce a scheme for Hindu immigration from Pakistan to India. The loss of this 2% of Pakistani population can make life difficult for Pakistan. Facilitate their immigration to India.
- Work with US, NATO, Afghan Governments to close down the Peshawar arms bazaar. This small time bazaar became the sourcing centre for terrorists all over the world. Initially, stocked up with arms from the CIA funded jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan, Peshawar, has become a problem that never ends. If required, there should be a UN mandate to send in a multinational force to surround, capture and destroy this centre for arms and armaments.
- Pakistan is at the crossroads of a jihadi, terrorist, criminal elements who have joined together and created an incendiary mash-up. Fueled by a drugs trade worth billions, arms trade worth millions and respectability, as they are ‘carrying out a religious jihad’.
- The leadership of these gangs has to be de-fanged. LK Advani, as the earlier Home Minister, forwarded a list of ‘Most Wanted 20′ to Pakistan nearly 7 years ago. Not one has come to India. The US has not co-operated on this one important Indian requirement.
The Pakistan problem is finally not as complex and it is made out.
Nor as easy as some may want it to be.