Pakistan fires at the border and steps up its clandestine war against India even as the Indian Government wants peace talks with its enemy. Why does India always speak with Pakistan in a position of weakness rather than one of strength? Pakistan has a one-point Kashmir agenda and there are many reasons why that is an impossible claim…
1. We’re entering an era of fixed boundaries: Pakistan managed to capture PoK in the 1947-48 war only because Kashmir was in limbo land at that time. Once India took charge, it refused to cede any more land. All their attacks have so far gone in vain. China captured Aksai Chin in 1962 only because of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s soft stance.
However we are now entering an era of fixed boundaries the world over. Till World War II, international borders were all pretty fluid, but after that they have slowly started becoming fixed. We don’t have any Hitlers trying to conquer the world any more.
It is impossible for a larger country to capture land from a smaller country nowadays. The US is not a colonial empire like the British were once. Even to attack Syria, US President Barack Obama really struggled and now may not do so. And here we have the case of a smaller country (Pakistan) trying to capture land (Kashmir) from a larger country (India)!
2. Direct attack and militancy have all failed: Pakistan tried to capture Kashmir by force in 1965 but failed spectacularly. They were buoyed by India’s 1962 loss and Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s magnanimity over Rann of Kutch. Things should have ended there.
The 1971 war was even more humiliating for they lost East Pakistan, which became Bangladesh. Siachen was thwarted in the 1980s.
Then they tried militancy in Kashmir in the 1990s, which has claimed thousands of lives. But after more than two decades even that is on the decline. After failing with their Kashmir strategy, they sponsored attacks in the rest of India with 26/11 being the most prominent, but that has only turned international opinion against them.
3. The nuclear parity bluff has been exposed: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto said that Pakistan would eat grass, but build the atomic bomb. After the Chagai blasts of 1998, Pakistan mistakenly thought they had nuclear parity. They launched the Kargil War immediately after in 1999 and failed yet again. Pakistan was left severely weakened and when the US made many demands of them post-9/11, they were in no position to refuse.
In fact after the Chagai N-blasts all manner of reports started appearing in the Pakistani press saying that if Pakistan attacked, then India wouldn’t retaliate over fears of Pakistan’s nukes.
The irony is that the architect of Kargil, General Pervez Musharraf, is a pariah in his own land.
4. They have played all their cards: 1. Sending in tribals while Kashmir was contemplating its future. 2. Pressurizing the US over Kashmir by accepting all their other demands. 3. Direct attacks in 1965 and 1999. 4. Nuclear parity delusions. 5. Covert operations. 6. Militancy in Kashmir. 7. Terrorism in the rest of India….
Sitting at the table, Pakistan has thrown all its cards on the table. They still refuse to quit and continue playing with an empty hand. There is no point in continuing with a game you have no chance of winning.
5. Their quest for Kashmir has destroyed them: Till 1991 when India liberalized, Pakistan was at par with India on many indicators. In fact the term “Indo-Pak” had some sort of parity. But after that India has gone way ahead of Pakistan. Now the terms “Indo-China” and “Af-Pak” are two parities.
Pakistan is day by day resembling the failed state of Afghanistan.
Their democracy is in shambles.
Their economy is going nowhere.
Their terror groups have run amok and kill a record number of civilians.
They are hopelessly dependent on America for everything.
They have been split into two in the past.
They are making absolutely no breakthrough vis a vis India.
And still they focus all their energies on Kashmir!
Pakistan had a weak case to begin with. Pakistan simply took it for granted that Kashmir would be part of them (by one account, the k in Pakistan stands for Kashmir). However the British simply said that each kingdom would be free to make its own decision.
In fact Pakistan did not accept the British stand.
They did not accept the Indian stand.
They did not accept the stand of the monarch of Kashmir.
They did not accept popular leader Sheikh Abdullah’s stand.
So on what ground was Pakistan standing?
If Pakistan was just in a weak position after Kashmir’s Instrument of Accession to India, it is in a totally lost cause in 2013.
India should realize this and talk tough instead of appearing soft all the time!
(This article appeared in Sify.com)