For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
That’s Newton’s Third Law.
You can also apply it to India and Pakistan via the following theorem:
Whenever something good happens in the Indo-Pak theatre, something equally bad happens to counter it.
Here’s the historical proof:
Independence leads to a permanent Kashmir problem
Action: All the people of India (irrespective of religion, caste and creed) fight for and get Independence from the Britishers. 1947 was supposed to be a new beginning and a time of hope.
Reaction: Independence actually leads to two new nations that are in conflict with each other from Day 1. Communal riots and killings rule as more than 12 million are displaced from their homes. Millions carry the hatred in their hearts till death.
Rann of Kutch peace leads to 1965 war
Action: In 1965, Indian and Pak forces collide in the Rann of Kutch. British Prime Minister Harold Wilson negotiates a peace and the whole world is happy that there is no war.
Reaction: Pakistan, which was already planning something after India’s loss to China in 1962, is further emboldened by this peace, perceiving it as a sign of India’s weakness. It launches Operation Gibraltor (infiltration into Kashmir), which leads to an all out war and more than 5000 soldiers are killed on both sides of the border.
Liberation of Bangladesh leads to new post-Partition hatred mindset
Action: Indira Gandhi made one of the most decisive moves of her career with a military operation that led to the Liberation of Bangladesh. This was hailed as a permanent solution by some. Pakistan formally accepted the LoC and signed a peace treaty.
Reaction: Infiltration of Bangladeshis continues to this day. Bangladesh isn’t exactly a friendly country and hosts military training camps. The LoC is still where it was and is crossed with impunity by infiltrators. Most importantly, while a generation of people who were adults during 1947 no longer exists, it has been replaced by a generation of people who swore that they would avenge the Partition of Pakistan. One such individual was Company Commander Pervez Musharraf.
Stable nuclear India leads to unstable nuclear Pakistan
Action: In 1974 with the Pokhran nuclear blast and the Liberation of Bangladesh firmly behind us, many thought that India was virtually invincible. A new nuclear power surrounded by an enemy in two pieces.
Reaction: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto said, “We will eat grass but will make Atom Bomb”. And 35 years after Pokhran, Pak Nukes are still giving the whole world torrid nightmares.
Capture of Siachen leads to seeds of Kargil
Action: When Pakistan was planning to capture Siachen in 1984, Rajiv Gandhi pre-empted the move and the Indian Army firmly established base there.
Reaction: While people have talked of the high cost of maintaining Siachen in terms of expenditure and army lives, a little known fact is that the Pakistani Army worked out the Kargil Infiltration plan soon after that. The plan was given to Dictator Zia in the eighties itself and he struck it down. Benazir Bhutto also brushed it aside. General “Revenge” Musharraf took this file out of the backburner and made it the pinnacle of his military career.
Kashmir militancy follows democracy in Pakistan
Action: In 1988 when I was in school, the neighbourhood suddenly erupted in firecrackers even though Diwali was some time away. I learnt that Zia had died. That paved way for democracy in Pakistan.
Reaction: It was precisely during the democratic regime of Benazir that militancy made its debut in Kashmir. Zia may have been a dictator, but he understood the folly of an all out Indo-Pak war. He also had control over the extremist elements of Pakistan. Benazir in contrast had no control (neither today does Zardari have for that matter). As a result, thousands of lives have been lost in Kashmir and continue to do so till this very day.
Kargil victory leads to rest of India attacks
Action: When India won the Kargil conflict, there was great celebration and just like at the end every war or conflict, it was expected that the peace would be lasting.
Reaction: Face it. As an Indian, you feel less and less safe today. Post-Kargil is when the militants changed their tactics and started attacking cities. First it was just Kashmir. Now no place in India is safe.
When I was small, I heard that for every two steps India takes forward, it takes one backward. Well even that’s pretty good for you still end up with a step forward. When it comes to India-Pakistan it’s simply one step forward and one step backward. After more than 60 years, we are exactly where we started. We have the Valley. They have a bit of Kashmir. We’re still enemies with no solution in sight.
In the last 60 years, the Communist Russian Empire collapsed. The Berlin Wall came down. Fidel Castro quit after nearly four decades in power. America is warming up to India. China switched from Communism to Capitalism. India switched from Socialism to Capitalism. But the Kashmir situation and Indo-Pak relations seem to be getting worse. Despite that, the moment there’s an inch of progress, we start patting each other on the back and start celebrating, Breaking News… not knowing that the Indo-Pak matrix will be reloaded again and again and again…
1. Kashmir was called Heaven on Earth by Mughal emperor Jehangir.
2. In 2005, there was a petition calling for the substitution of Sindh with Kashmir in the national anthem. The Supreme Court struck this down.
3. Pakistan founder Jinnah was under the impression that India would merely split into Hindustan and Pakistan. He was very disturbed when we retained the name India. He realized correctly that while Pakistan would suddenly become a new nation, India would continue to be thousands of years old.
4. Jinnah was suffering from tuberculosis throughout the forties and he died just a year after Pakistan was created. Some British officials are later said to have commented that had they known, then maybe they would have tried putting off the Partition!
Post-26/11 a lot of people were happy at our “coercive diplomacy”. Then people started celebrating the Talibanisation of our neighbour and how Pakistan was being destroyed by the very thing it created.
Stop being happy. The more you laugh now, the more something will make you cry at some later point in life.
That’s an Indo-Pak truth atleast.
© Sunil Rajguru