Pakistan Is A Rogue Country And Should Be Treated Accordingly
Pakistan is at it again. Five soldiers have lost their lives. Indian leadership appears unfazed and wants to continue dialogue with Pakistan. One of the greatest misfortunes for India is the fact that no political leader or bureaucrat sends his progeny to the armed forces. As loss of soldiers’ lives does not impact them personally, they remain unconcerned. They do not realise that every life lost means ruination of a family—loss of a son for the parents, widowhood for the wife and orphans’ lives for the children.
It was reprehensible to see the leading spokesperson of the ruling party laughing and joking when discussing such a grave issue on TV. For him, it was nothing more than a debating matter to score points over the opponents. These insensitive people make all Indians hang their heads in shame. They do not realise that an uncaring and callous government is the worst demoralizing factor for the armed forces.
India’s policy of extending a hand of friendship and accommodation has been a total failure. On the contrary, it has emboldened Pakistan into considering India to be a soft state and increased its intransigence and hardened its anti-India attitude. How to deal with an unreasonable and hostile neighbour continues to be a convoluted dilemma for India.
Every nation has certain core values. These are fundamental traits that provide sustenance to it for its existence. Normally, these are positive attributes which are considered non-negotiable and unalterable. In India’s case, it is to secure for all its citizens justice (social, economic and political); liberty (of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship); equality (of status and opportunity); and fraternity while assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation.
Pakistan’s core values are based on the warped political principles of ‘hate and hurt India at all costs’. Pakistan was created on the ideology that the ‘pure’ cannot coexist with the infidel. A nation born out of hatred needs hatred to feed itself on for continued sustenance and to justify its existence. Anti-India stance fulfills this need and cannot be shed.
A few years ago a group of Indian ladies visited Pakistan under a social exchange programme. One of the ladies sustained a wrist fracture in an accidental fall and was taken to the nearest medical facility. The orthopaedician on duty treated the lady diligently and to the best of his ability. While bandaging the wrist, he engaged the lady in small talk. When the lady referred to commonality of Indian and Pakistani cultures, the doctor flared up and blasted the lady for her ‘flawed views’. “What is common between us? We eat cows and you worship them. We asked for a separate nation only because we are totally different in all respects. I suggest you Indians should stop fooling yourselves”, he thundered.
The above incident has been recalled here to show the extent to which Pakistani citizens have been brainwashed. Their deep-rooted hatred and venomous mindset defies logic. Pakistan lives and thrives on anti-Indian policy. The day Pakistan sheds hostility towards India and adopts a conciliatory stance, it would amount to negating two-nation theory, the raison d’être for its very existence. Therefore, it will be naïve to expect Pakistan to have a change of heart. Kashmir is merely a manifestation of Pakistan’s infinite hostility towards India. Were India to hand over Kashmir to it on a platter, Pakistan will invent newer issues to keep the pot boiling.
Bhutto’s ‘1000 year war’ and Zia’s ‘bleeding India by 1000 cuts’ are indicative of innate prejudices. In its school text books, Pakistan’s existence is claimed since the time Qasim captured Sindh province in the 8th century. Muhammad-bin-Qasim and Mahmud Ghori are portrayed as great heroes who were instrumental in the establishment of Muslim rule in India. When a leading Pakistani paper claims that Pakistan is destined to defeat India because Pakistan’s ‘horses in the form of atomic bombs and missiles’ are far better than Indian ‘donkeys’ and boasts of re-conquering India, the level of percolation of anti-India venom can well be gauged.
Even a casual visitor to Pak websites and blogs gets shocked to see venality of comments against India. There is hardly a sane voice that advocates need to promote amity. Strangely, every comment considers India and Hinduism to be synonymous. India bashing always degenerates into Hindu bashing by painting every issue with communal colour.
One may not fully agree with former Australian Test umpire Darrell Hair’s description of the Pakistani cricketers as ‘cheats, frauds and liars’. But the fact is that the whole world considers Pakistan to be an untrustworthy and deceitful nation. Independent Pakistan started its track record with treachery. Starting with the Kashmir betrayal; Pakistan has made deceit and duplicity to be its national policy.
Under the Tashkent agreement, India agreed to return the strategic Haji Pir pass to Pakistan, in exchange for an undertaking by Pakistan to abjure the use of force to settle mutual disputes and adherence to the principles of non-interference. However, Pakistan continued its proxy war through its notorious secret agencies. Sanctuaries and safe passage were provided to underground elements of North-Eastern India.
Without learning from the past experience, India agreed to release 96,000 Pakistani Prisoners of War (PoWs) after 1971 war. In exchange, India accepted a solemn verbal undertaking by Bhutto that Pakistan would accept LOC as the de facto border. Bhutto never intended to abide by his word. Worse, to avenge its defeat, Pakistan redoubled its efforts to create turmoil in India. Worse, true to its nature, Pakistan dishonestly kept back 54 Indian PoWs out of 617 PoWs held by it. It is apprehended that they are still rotting in various Pak jails.
While the Indian leadership was trying to break ice through ‘bus diplomacy’ in 1998-99, Pakistani military brass was busy planning the notorious Kargil incursion. Thus, Pakistan remains incorrigible as a devious and cunning neighbour. Due to decades of brainwashing, all Pakistanis suffer from an extremely brutal and vicious anti-Indian streak. The treatment meted out to the patrol led by Lt Saurabh Kalia in May 1999 by the Pakistan army will put even barbarians and animals to shame for its sheer cruelty.
The Way Forward
India will do well to remember Winston Churchill’s advisory, “The further backwards you look, the further forward you can see”. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
India has been repeatedly duped and cheated by Pakistan but continues to entertain hopes of a change of heart whereas Pakistan has made India the whipping boy for all the ills that it suffers from.
It is time India stops living in a fool’s paradise and reformulates its Pakistan policy, keeping the following facts in mind
■ Pakistan was born on anti-India plank and it is its only identity. Shedding of anti-India posture would amount to questioning the logic of its very creation. Therefore, Pakistan cannot afford to shed its antagonism towards India.
■ Pakistan can never be India’s friend as the venom of anti-India feeling is too deeply ingrained and it will take generations for it to abate. India’s unilateral offer of friendship will always be rebuffed.
■ Deceitfulness and duplicity is its state policy and it can never be trusted. Trust deficit is the anti-thesis of amity and it cannot be bridged easily.
■ Harming Indian interests is the corner stone of its foreign policy. Attacks on Indian parliament, IT hub Bangalore and commercial centre Mumbai show calculated selection of objectives. It never misses an opportunity to embarrass India in every world forum.
India should stop claiming that a united Pakistan is in India’s interests. There cannot be a more blinkered view. Nations born out of a persecution complex can never rid themselves of bitterness of history. Their break-up is the only way out and India must encourage that in its own security interests. Having failed to make Pakistan see reason, India has no reason to be apologetic. Repeated assertions of being a peace loving state are invariably misconstrued as impotence of a soft state.
It is time India asserts itself by following a proactive policy. The only language rogue countries like Pakistan understand is of strength and retribution. India must make it amply clear to Pak government that every anti-India mischief would invite immediate reprisal and that no transgression will go unpunished. India must avenge death of every Indian soldier. The country owes it to the memory of the martyrs and the sacrifice of the distraught families.
(Indian Defence Review)
By Maj Gen Mrinal Suman