Friday, 3 April 2020

Pay terrorists back in their own coin

Updated: January 15, 2016 1:38 pm

Terrorists across the border entered Pathankot, dressed up in army uniform, snatched a police personnel’s car, headed towards the Air Force base and struck an attack taking away precious lives of our Jawans. We boast about our military capabilities every year on Republic Day, but what’s the use when we can’t prevent such attacks, in spite of having intelligence input of a terrorist attack? It seems after each meeting of Indian Prime Minister with Pakistan’s Prime Minister, there would be a terrorist attack by Pakistan. For, it has been an old strategy of forces either backed by or close to the Pakistani military establishment to unleash attacks in India ahead or after bilateral talks or peace initiatives. Coming a few days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Pakistan, the latest attack only follows the familiar script. It is worth mentioning here that the agility of our security personnel prevented terrorists from destroying air assets at the Pathankot Air Force station, one of India’s key airbases on the Western border, as security forces quickly sealed off the area. But it is an irony, while our brave-heart Jawans sacrifice their lives for the cause of the country, our political leaders overlook their sacrifice after sometime. There are instances where the families of such martyrs are living a miserable life. Meanwhile, it is quite impossible for the terrorist groups to enter India from India-Pakistan border without the help of Pakistani army. And against the backdrop of the positive gesture by our Prime Minister towards Nawaz Sharif, it is highly unlikely for the Pakistani government to plan such an attack. So the fact remains that Pakistan military is working autonomously and is out of the hands of the government. But, it is extremely important for the Pakistani government and its military to be on the same page for the peace talks to take place without any hiccups. However, our policymakers and security experts would accept “the neat side stepping” by the Pakistan army, then why cannot they highlight the necessity of hot pursuit and preventive strikes of the terrorist camps? The “waiting at the gate for the barbarians to strike and then let us defend” policy is going to cost the lives of brave young soldiers and their young wives with just months old kids’ lives wrecked.

                Talks cannot proceed in vacuum without taking into account the environment. The mistake in making ‘uninterrupted and uninterruptible’ dialogue is that if talks continue without action against terrorists, it will only lead to more intense and frequent attacks on us. It would make the terrorists believe that Indian retaliation is now neutralised under the garb of the talks. Therefore, talks must be suspended until Pakistan takes a firm, verifiable and satisfactory action against JeM and LeT. The action this time by Pakistan should be unlike the ‘revolving door’ policy implemented by Gen. Musharraf after his January 2002 announcement. Unfortunately, the terrorists in Pakistan are instruments of the ‘Deep State’ and no civilian political leader has either the guts or the wherewithal to take action against that entity. The Deep State can dismiss the elected civilian government any minute and countries like the US would simply wink and nod. We are up against odds in every direction. But engagement with Pakistan cannot progress unless the Pakistan military falls in line with the civilian government. For the past more than 10 years India has been tolerating the arrogant nature of JeM and LeT, which are controlled by the Pakistan military. So, let us take the recent example of handling the ISIS at Syria by France and Russia. Why cannot India, being the largest democracy, take a stringent action to teach a fitting lesson to Pakistan’s military? For, as long as the terrorist outfits like JeM and LeT are allowed to flourish with impunity by a patronising Pakistan’s civilian government, there can never be a meaningful dialogue between the two countries. There is no sign of Pak civilian leadership to contain the military. If Nawaz continues his efforts to engage in dialogue, a military coup is imminent as the past history tells us. So, Modi needs to talk tough with his civilian counterpart, reserving the option to strike covertly at the strongholds and training camps of the terrorist outfits. For, we have been losing far too many of our brave men ever so frequently at the hands of a few delinquent fidayeens. Hence, our government should not forget the fact that optimism is welcome but excess of it results in the

opponent striking at will and we carrying the olive branch forever. Hence, it is high time Pakistan acted after India hands over substantial proof of the attack. And importantly, our government should learn lessons from past wars, bomb blasts and the latest Pathankot attack and take serious measures for future, and the nation needs to know clearly what went wrong. Our army is sacrificing life every day, but it should not be repeated owing to the fault in our system. Last but not least, the martyrs’ family should not suffer, as there are many allegations of their grievances.

Deepak Kumar Rath

Deepak Kumar Rath

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