Timing is most crucial and vital aspect in war, diplomacy and state-craft. When the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi asked the then Chief of Army Staff General Sam Manekshaw to go for war, he simply told her, “You decide whether to go for war or not. When to go to war, the timing, just leave that to me. That is not your cup of tea. I will decide after assessing the ground situation.” Indira agreed and the rest is history.
Nations do talk to their hostile neighbours in order to ensure that the relationship improves and remains cordial. But no nation with dignity, honour and self-respect talks to its hostile neighbour from the position of weakness. That is most humiliating. If at all, a country is bound to hold dialogue, then it must be from the position of strength.
There have been innumerable incidents of firing from across the border and Pakistan-sponsored terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. It goes without saying that the neighbouring unfriendly country has been aiding and abetting terrorism and recently stepped up its violent activities by sending its trained and armed terrorists into India. The reason for this sudden escalation of tension both in J&K and along the border is that the security forces – Army, BSF and CRPF – have been successful in eliminating as many as 286 terrorists in various parts of that sensitive border state during the last one year. That the recent attacks of the terrorists are only on the Army and the security forces and not on civilians is the proof – if at all proof was needed.
In this situation, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, Owaisi of the MIM, and Chief Minister of J&K Mehbooba Mufti have been advocating that India should talk to Pakistan in order to end the battle between the security forces and terrorists. One wonders, with whose side these so-called leaders are batting like unguided missiles. Anti-terrorist operations are complex, complicated and cumbersome. Sometimes the security forces will gain upper hand, sometimes the terrorists manage to kill. While the terrorists have no qualms of human rights violations, the
security forces are required to watch out on human rights violations, as if this right is only to be observed by the security forces. This, sometimes, pushes the security forces into a tight spot.
Just because the terrorists have gained an upper hand does not mean that India has lost everything.
And to suggest that India must talk to Pakistan in this situation is outrageous; in fact this should be considered as treason. Any talk at this temporary moment of negative development will be construed as India’s weakness. It will hit the morale of the brave soldiers; the collective self-respect, collective dignity, collective honour of 125 crores Indians will go for a six. Moreover, it is an insult to the collective bravery, collective valour, collective courage of the Army and the security forces.
The suggestion of Aiyar, Owaisi and Mehbooba to talk to Pakistan is ill-conceived, ill-motivated and ill-timed. Moreover, these three nonsensical leaders have not outlined what India must speak to Pakistan. There is no meeting point at all to indulge in talks. Pakistan wants to discuss the status of Kashmir; according to that country Kashmir’s status is disputed. Whereas India has to discuss the situation in Jammu and Kashmir; the situation arising out of cross-border terrorism; the situation arising out of armed infiltration. If the agenda are poles apart, then what is there to speak? Obviously, Aiyar, Owaisi and Mehbooba have an anti-India agenda.
The policy of the Government of India, as outlined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is time-tested and hence it is correct – that no talks can take place amidst exploding of bombs, rattling of machine guns, screams, pain and agony of the common people.
The Army must be given hand – unlike filing of FIR against Army officers – the security forces must be strengthened in terms of personnel, arms and ammunition; the state government of J&K must be strictly told to remain aloof from the anti-insurgency operations. Only after the situation is brought under firm control and terrorists are either eliminated or caught; only after India’s domination over the entire situation is total and complete; only after Pakistan is made to kneel after another round of surgical strikes that leads to collateral damage across the border – only then must India send word to Pakistan for talks – from the position of strength. Till then, Aiyar and Owaisi must be made to suck their thumbs.
By Deepak Kumar Rath