After going public on the plight of the Baloch in the Wahhabi Republic of Pakistan (misnamed the Islamic Republic of Pakistan), it was certain that there would be a vigorous response from GHQ Rawalpindi and there has been. It is astonishing that terrorists managed to enter a facility as sensitive as the Uri Brigade HQ of the Indian Army. Allowing them to enter is an offence meriting dismissal of the negligent officers responsible, as is that of making soldiers sleep in tents made of material that is highly combustible. However, as yet, there are no reports of Army HQ taking any action whatsoever on those responsible for these two lapses. Those responsible appear to have got away as lightly as did the guilty of Pathankot or an even more consequential lapse, Kargil. It is easy to cast the blame on Pakistan-trained terrorists, but these have been a fact of life since 1948 and will remain so well into the future. The Narendra Modi government needs to move away from the Manmohan Singh government policy of promotions to the top being made dependent on the calendar.
The Lutyens’ Zone policy has long been to look to Washington to cast the first stone at Islamabad, when by far the worst sufferer of Rawalpindi GHQ’s mischief has been India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has shown an energy and spirit of innovation absent in his predecessor. He needs to declare the Pakistan army a terrorist organisation and back that globally with a White Paper detailing the ways in which such a characterisation is entirely accurate. This should include the inhumane way in which this ethno-based force is behaving in Balochistan, Sindh and in the Pakhtun areas. Among the errors made by Jawaharlal Nehru was refusing to assist the Baloch and the Pakhtuns to win their freedom during 1947-48. Replacing the British commanders of the army with our own citizens would have cleared the way for a Cariappa-led offensive designed to ensure justice to these unfortunate people. Of course, Lord Louis Mountbatten would have disapproved any such move, and more so Lady Mountbatten.
Those responsible for the lapses leading to Uri attack appear to have got away as lightly as did the guilty of Pathankot or an even more consequential lapse, Kargil.
Despite what state-sponsored historians say, the reality is that more than anything done by Pakistan, it is the errors committed by this country’s Mahatma-chosen post-Independence leadership that resulted in most of the chronic problems that we face to this day.
After the Uri attack, the defence attaché at the Pakistan embassy in New Delhi should be home, and any individual linked (including through marriage or bloodline) with an individual serving in the Pakistan army or having served there during the previous 25 years (roughly the period when its Wahhabisation accelerated) needs to be denied a visa to enter India, save in exceptional circumstances such as a family health emergency. Here too, only ladies, children and senior citizens should be given visas. At the same time, Modi needs to ensure a break from “Lutyens’ Thought” by calling on the UN, its member states and international agencies to join India in imposing sanctions on the Pakistan army and its personnel, including in the matter of travel, bank accounts and other matters. The international community needs to be shamed into following suit through a coordinated campaign exposing the global tentacles of the ISI and its terror affiliates. If India waits for any other country to take the lead in such a move, it will have to wait for an indefinite period, thereby cementing the perception of impotence that already clings to decision makers in Delhi, who seem to be relying on lung power rather than more effective deterrents to a repeat of actions such as Uri by Rawalpindi GHQ auxiliaries such as the JuD and the JeM.
Across the world, a perception has developed that India’s leadership is only bluffing when they make promises of action that they subsequently forget. This international perception of the country having a weakly reactive government has been decisive in the way India’s interests have repeatedly been challenged by a multiplicity of actors. Now that Narendra Modi is the Prime Minister, the expectation is that this will change. What will prove Modi to be different is action after Uri that is counter to the Lutyens’ Zone surrender tactics dressed up as “pragmatism”. Apart from declaring the Pakistan army as the terrorist force that it has been for many years and sanctioning it, what is clear is that a country ruled by generals should have no role in SAARC. The Murree summit needs to be bypassed by India, and it be conveyed to other members that it would be appreciated were they to take a strong stand against terrorism by joining India in forming an alternative Pakistan-less group of countries that includes Myanmar, and which are full democracies rather than pseudo-democracies where elected Prime Ministers are serfs of the military. A SAARC, which includes a state controlled by a terrorist army, has more negatives than positives, and the time has come for the Modi government to act on this truth by pulling out of any SAARC meeting in which Pakistan is present. Unless there is a sharp and visible break from India’s capitulationist past, the bleeding of this country by Rawalpindi GHQ will continue.