Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s this Independence Day speech from the ramparts of Red Fort sent out an unambiguous message to Pakistan. The speech of Modi was not rhetoric of just piling the achievements of the government, which any nation head can, but it was a diplomatic counter to Pakistan in the form of warning to stop intervening in India’s internal problems, especially on what happened in Kashmir insurgency by separatists. While Pakistan is eagerly kindling the Kashmir separatists to go for riots, it is fumbling to handle the Balochs in Pakistan and struggling to face the consequences of terrorism, its own global branded product. PM’s warning that India
will intervene on Baluchistan issue is the apt counter, as tit-for-tat is the right diplomacy now towards Pakistan. It cannot be gainsaid that the message might have been about playing to the gallery, but it is also necessary following the recent developments in the near neighbourhood. Kashmir is but a small part of a bigger game played there, and we don’t have the luxury of throwing carrots at opponents every time. We can see by her actions that Pakistan is growing desperate by the day, and if a stick is what it takes to bring order, a statesman shouldn’t hesitate to use it. For, forces inside and outside of India are constantly trying to undermine our freedom. The so-called “peaceful” organisations, funded by foreign countries, continue to use our divisions to force their will on us and exert their influence. We have to stay strong and defeat these nefarious forces. Against this backdrop, Modi sent out a message that if Pakistan targets India’s problems, so can India target Pakistan’s weaknesses. He did that in a humble way by saying the people whom he never met are thankful to 125 crore Indians. Contrast this with Pakistan, who meets separatists regularly and supplies them weapons. Prime Minister, while sending out this warning, may have in his mind the provocative remarks of Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit, dedicating Pakistan’s Independence Day this year to the “freedom” of Kashmir. It is worth mentioning here that the Prime Minister made a reference to Baluchistan full three days before Independence Day speech in the all-party meeting. So, it is naive on the part of those people who hoodwink Indian public of PM’s reiteration as a reactionary response to that Pakistani diplomat. One can’t expect much from these guys surviving on the Chinese crumbs.
The overlying simple truth is that dialogue or the lack of it has little or no impact on Pakistan’s policy towards India. The primary reason behind Pakistan’s repeated provocative acts is that it knows that India has eschewed military retaliation against Pakistan for the fear of nuclear escalation, and because it does not fear retaliation, Indian deterrence against Pakistan is almost dead. To drive the message home, and to stop Pakistan from such acts, India has to resurrect its deterrence against Pakistan, including the option of using force in a limited war. India can exercise the option of a limited war to safeguard its national interest instead of pursuing its present policy of putting diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to desist from sabre rattling and end its shadow war of aiding and abetting the anti-India terror groups, which continue to operate from within Pakistan’s territory even after the deadly 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai. For many years, Pakistan has followed the strategy of bleeding India through supporting a proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir. Hence, it is tit-for-tat, as Nawaz Sharif, during a visit to Pak-occupied Kashmir, said that Kashmir is a flashpoint and can trigger a fourth war between the two nuclear powers at any time. Seen in this background, it is apt to say that in the last three speeches from Red Fort, Modi has broken the tradition of leaders making promises from Red Fort to be forgotten by the end of the same day. He is not making any tall promises, but only trying to implement and list the work in process status of his tasks. This is a good approach. For, being submissive to Pakistan’s designs on Kashmir has not helped India’s cause. The biggest mistake on Kashmir was made by Nehru, when he promised a referendum and elevated the Kashmir issue at an international level. For seven decades, the nation has been paying with money and blood. In the present perspective, if Baluchistan breaks away from Pakistan, then the entire sea coast of Pakistan is gone. They will not be able to sustain as a nation then. This fear has to be driven to them. That may help in Pakistan stopping support to terrorists.