Issue Net Edition | Date : 14 Jan , 2013
The British were smart when they created Pakistan in 1947 with a distinct aim to keep India weak, while having a Pakistan they could control, as well as have access to the region for their troops and bases, which they wanted very much at the time. The purpose of having a Pakistan was further strengthened in the British minds because the Indian government refused to allow British bases and troops to be stationed in India except over a transition period, whereas Pakistan’s Jinnah permitted British troops and bases on a more permanent basis upon the promise of the creation of Pakistan.
Undeniably, Pakistan has been a thorn in India’s side ever since independence. They have not only failed to stop their shennanigans, but after taking a decade to recover from the 1971 humiliation, they were back to seeking revenge.
However, Pakistan’s promisesto Britain and the West have only partially materialized, because Pakistan has blown hot and cold with their membership in the Commonwealth; Pakistan was a loyal member with the USA in CENTO and SEATO; gave immense help to USA in the fight against Russian intervention in Afghanistan; but at the same time has given the USA an exceptionally tough time since 9/11 in using their territory for operations in Afghanistan. The public sentiment in Pakistan is strongly anti-USA, at up to 90% against. In contrast, a survey in India soon after 9/11 revealed that 70% favor USA.
The former part of British intentions – to divide and sow discord in the sub-continent — has come true from Day One. First, the refugee crisis of partition sowed hatred between Hindus and Sikhs – on one side – versus Muslims on the other. This was soon followed by the racial crisis in the predominantly Hindu principality of Poonch district of Kashmir that led to the Hindu Maharaja using his Sikh troops to quell a rebellion spurred by former Muslim soldiers of the British Army of India who were denied employment in the Maharaja’s army after the end of World War II. The inconsiderate suppression of the Muslims in Poonch stirred the sentiments of Afghan tribesmen when the news reached them. The rest is history – Pakistani tribesmen swept into Kashmir valley in waves of surprise, covertly aided and abetted by the Pakistani army under the leadership of Mohammed Ali Jinnah.
India watched while the USA gave military aid and armaments to Pakistan through the 1950s owing to their participation in CENTO and SEATO. President Ayub Khan received a red carpet treatment in 1961 when he visited USA, and was hosted by President John Kennedy who proclaimed Pakistan as a vital ally of USA. The military aid to Pakistan brought it armaments superior to those in the Indian arsenal, thereby making a relatively smaller Pakistan equal in military might to India. This caused only disconsternation and sorrow in India, which was further not helped by the poor foreign policy of India that put it squarely opposite the Western nations.
Not learning from any conflict episode, Pakistan simply starts new conflict episodes from time to time. Cross-border incursions take place on a daily basis.
Thus, Pakistan was emboldened enough to claim parts of the Rann of Kutch in April 1965, and launched a limited military offensive there. This morphed into Operation Gibraltar in Kashmir and the full-blown invasion of India in September 1965. The uneasy calm after a serious conflict continued into 1971, which saw Pakistan dismembered. But, Pakistan’s Bhutto made a fool of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in Simla in 1972; and after India’s Pokhran explosion in 1973, vowed to eat grass if they had to in order to posses nuclear weapon capability on par with India. This, Pakistan succeeded in doing.
Undeniably, Pakistan has been a thorn in India’s side ever since independence. They have not only failed to stop their shenanigans, but after taking a decade to recover from the 1971 humiliation, they were back to seeking revenge. The 1986 Hazratbal mosque episode, when a hair of the Holy Prophet Mohammed disappeared from the shrine, sparked another outrage that brought active Pakistani interference into Kashmir. This time, Pakistan began a furtive campaign to induct terrorists into Kashmir. Since then, Pakistan has bled India not simply by a thousand cuts, but by the thorn they were that was left by Great Britain in India’s left side. Pakistan consequently proved itself to be a terrorist nation with the LET and Jaish Mohamed outfits, etc. The Kashmir actions culminated last in the ill-fated Kargil war, which amounted to blatant aggression by Pakistan, and had India choked if Pakistan had pressed its advantage.
No sooner did the internal debate on Kargil simmer down that an attack on India’s Parliament was launched by Pakistani-trained elements. It was simply too bad that the USA asked India to pull back at the 11th hour from its armor thrust into Rajasthan during Operation Parakram after its satellites picked up Indian tank movements there charging towards the Pakistani border across Barmer district.
Each time a violent episode ends, India thinks Pakistan will come to terms with India as a brother would, but each time Pakistan rears up its head in anger again.
Not learning from any conflict episode, Pakistan simply starts new conflict episodes from time to time. Cross-border incursions take place on a daily basis. As if Pakistan had not had enough, it executed the 26/11 hostage crisis. Pakistan is brave in its dealings with India, but such bravado can also be classified as madness. Perhaps Pakistan does have a death wish, and perhaps Pakistan must collapse, because as the saying by Euprides goes, “Those whom the Gods would destroy they first drive mad.”
All the Reasons to Invade Pakistan
Pakistan, which was born out of hatred for secular India, has pushed its thorn deeper into India’s side. Every day is marked by tension and animosity – either by word, rhetoric, or/and physical violence on the ground. This has continued unabated every day for 65 years. In 2012 alone, the media reported 117 cross-border military violations by Pakistan; but the real number when undetected infiltration is taken into account is much more. This is not healthy for either nation, but definitely not for India, even though Pakistan might find a holy mission in it. Each time a violent episode ends, India thinks Pakistan will come to terms with India as a brother would, but each time Pakistan rears up its head in anger again.
There is a sign in this, and it does not portent well for the weaker nation. It should therefore be understood that India needs no new reason to invade Pakistan. Neither does it need a new excuse – Pakistan has given India enough excuses over a 65 year period – and continues to give India an excuse on a daily basis through its cross border incursions, rhetoric, and overtly working against India at international fora. By all accounts, any day is morally good enough for India to invade Pakistan. India has no moral blemish to restrain it, and will be fighting a morally justified war any time it does plan to go to war.
Military Perspective of a War
It beats me how Pakistan can ever dream of equaling India in strength and economic power – now or in the coming time to come. With the changing world environment, where Pakistan’s ISI is suspect in the CIA, and with a China that is lunging towards a collision course with the USA, the chances of Pakistan pinning India to the ground are receding. And those who think that China’s meteoric rise has put it on par with the United States are very sadly mistaken.
Remember, that in 1971, India was ready for a Chinese attack, which never came. Though the Chinese military is relatively stronger now compared to 1971…
Some would argue that India’s military lacks specific military equipment – such as surface to air missiles, night vision goggles, insufficient ordnance, or adequate 155 mm howitzers. India also suffers from an unfortunate degradation in officer quality. While some of this may be true, the fact is that Pakistan’s military isn’t faring any better, either. The Pakistani army also falls short in many areas, not the least of which is a stemming conflict between its Islamist officers and those with a more modern outlook. Pakistan, too, is limited in its ordnance inventories. Thus, in squaring off with India, and considering the size of its military compared to India, Pakistan still comes off at second best.
Then, there is the China factor. Well, China would think thrice before attempting to physically interfere in a Pakistan-India war. First, China lacks the military muscle to inflict a serious defeat on India at short notice, especially when the war with Pakistan is fought in the winter. Next, China is most conscious of its international reputation, knowing quite well that the world will not take kindly to China’s military interference in a Pakistan-India war. The US and Russian factors that will restrain China from interfering are also significant. However, the bottom line is that China currently lacks the military might with the predominant troop and equipment superiority to inflict any long lasting or serious damage to India during a Pak-Indian conflict. Nor can China’s navy operate far from home in the Indian Ocean – and definitely not with its outdated submarines that will be outclassed by India’s anti-submarine warfare. China’s airforce has limited capabilities in having to take off from high altitude airfields in Tibet. Hence, India cannot be militarily threatened in any meaningful way by China.
Remember, that in 1971, India was ready for a Chinese attack, which never came. Though the Chinese military is relatively stronger now compared to 1971, it has not gone beyond the threshold to battle effectively in the Himalayas against an Indian nation that is now prepared to take on China, notwithstanding China’s economic miracle. And, it comes as a saving grace to India that the West does not sell armaments to China.
The aspect of nuclear conflict is often introduced into such debates. Well, will Pakistan be the first to use nuclear weapons, because India has a firm no-first-use policy? Is Pakistan morally bankrupt? Is Pakistan’s threat to use nuclear weapons an empty threat knowing full well that India will retaliate massively till Pakistan perishes? Does Pakistan want to use nuclear weapons when India surely doesn’t? Will Pakistan really stoop to the level of nuclear war? Hence, it appears likely – with predominant evidence – that Pakistan will not sink to the level of nuclear conflict, and that it’s threats are mere bluffs. But, people ask: “what if Pakistan does use nuclear weapons?” The answer could be “What if Pakistan doesn’t use nuclear weapons: wouldn’t you have lost an opportunity?” An alternate answer: “Do you wish to continue living in fear, under threat? Is that correct living and good karma?” Yet another answer: “We would rather live in peace; nuclear war is not our choice, but if imposed on us, we will have no choice but to retaliate.” And, yet another answer, “Capitulating under threat is not a choice: the conflicts should be settled by conventional means, or else conflict initiated by Pakistan should cease.”
Map depicting export of terrorism from Pak soil
There is another important reason to invade Pakistan. As USA plans to withdraw in 2014, a severe vacuum is going to be left in that northwest region. Thus, to prevent China from filling this vacuum and linking up with Pakistan, it is vitally important for India to interject itself in Gilgit. Whereas, Chinese forces are already in Baltistan, with speculation that Pakistan may have leased Baltistan to China, it is all the more important for India to physically put itself between China and Pakistan. In fact, even Baltistan is not out of bounds for Indian forces to enter, notwithstanding that Chinese troops are already there. Consequently, India has to take the bold steps of invading Pakistan, no matter what the preparation status of its military forces. Not invading the Gilgit area and interjecting itself between China and Pakistan, not cutting off the Karakoram Highway, and not preventing the transmission of oil from Gwadar to Tibet, simply endangers India. The threat from this to India is significant. Hence, India must become physically present in Gilgit, and wake up sooner to this necessity than later.
Pakistan is legitimately scared of an Indian invasion, for it should be. Only “the guilty are afraid,” as a common saying goes, and Pakistan has accumulated enough guilt over the years.
Further, an invader always has the initial advantage in war. Note that the British took pre-emptive torpedo action against the Argentinean battleship, General Belgrano, before it could potentially damage British battleships with French Exocet missiles, in the Falklands war of 1982. Margaret Thatcher herself gave approval for this attack. This action eliminated the primary threat to British dominance in that war. Thus, an invader can strike successfully without warning, at day or night, summer of winter, weekday or holiday, at a location of his choosing, with all the planning that needs to go into it. This can catch the defender off-guard, thus destroying much of the defender in the initial stages, allowing later waves of invasion to roll forward on the advantages gained initially, especially if overwhelming force is used. Moreover, India may think Pakistan is prepared, much as we think we are unprepared, but both those perspectives are false. Pakistan is in a cauldron, and the time to strike is now.
Pakistan is legitimately scared of an Indian invasion, for it should be. Only “the guilty are afraid,” as a common saying goes, and Pakistan has accumulated enough guilt over the years. So yes, Pakistan should be wary of an Indian invasion for it will come one day. But, Pakistan should also be aware that nothing it can do could ward it off against a determined India.
The Diplomatic and Polictical Perspective
The political and diplomatic perspectives are altogether a different issue with India. It often seems that Indian diplomats and politicians live in a world different to the real world that everyone else lives in. Consequently, politicians engaged in internal corruption are unable to grasp or understand the intricacies of war and technology; they remain lost to the world, exemplified by the fact that India lived in an idealistic and idyllic Nehruvian era that forsook Western technology and economic growth for the sake of stubborn independence that took us into the Soviet orbit and also into frying pan with China in 1962. The non-alignment policies just made us drift further away from those who enjoyed economic growth and democratic lifestyles of the modern era. India moved further into isolation in the 1970s by making neither any headway in internal growth nor any significant breakthrough in being accepted into the community of nations, while China was well ahead on its long march in that direction after President Nixon opened China to the world and loosed the dreaded dragon. And India was held back only by its own retrograde ideology, which, mind you, it has not given up totally even now. Much of this retrograde thinking is not only in the heads of politicians, but also in the minds of bureaucrats, the common man, the educated intellectual, and the communists of India, among other, from whom the political leaders arise.
The powerful Indian tiger has been enslaved to the lust of the politicians who sacrifice national honor for the sake of raping Mother India of its meager resources and incomes.
The psychology of India’s leaders is probably everything to be ashamed of, and when combined with the advice given to the politicians by foreign policy advisors (recall Pannikar, the former ambassador to China during Nehru’s time who probably encouraged the communist invasion of India rather than to the contrary), ensures that India will not rise, let alone raise its head. The powerful Indian tiger has been enslaved to the lust of the politicians who sacrifice national honor for the sake of raping Mother India of its meager resources and incomes. It is surprising why a strong democratic revolution has not yet matured at the ballot box, and why politicians are allowed to loot the treasury in every Indian state, let alone the center.
Politicians have exploited the basic fear that humans possess genetically, and thus have exploited the Indian public to rule over them like the British ruled India. The “brown sahibs” replaced the “white sahibs”. The poor man is denied honest opportunity, and the bureaucrats aid and abet the concentration of Indian politicians on internal theft rather than external dangers. The political mind has been mutilated, and the psychology of India’s leaders permanently disabled, such that they behave as mentally deficient people of weak character.
In the immediate aftermath of receiving the mutilated bodies of Indian soldiers in the new year of January 2013, the Indian foreign minister went on record as saying that the government will not be moved by calls of revenge, that Pakistan needs to “explain” why it did what it did. Rather than follow the mood of the people who elected them, and in wanting to settle the conflict by words rather than bullets, the current government is once again demonstrating that it would rather sell itself to the enemy rather than confront it. Time and time again over the last 65 years, the Indian government has thought it is more expedient to capitulate to the enemy rather than fight it. From a perspective of national honor, this is utterly shameful.
With this type of psychology at the highest levels, India can scarcely hope to succeed or defeat the Islamist and terroristic threats. In fact, this type of psychology further foments internal rebellion, such as is being witnessed by India in virtually every state, in contrast to enabling the Indian public to join to defeat the external threat. All that the Indian government can ever do is go to war against its own citizens who don’t have the big guns like its enemies do. Thus, India has easily gone to war in Nagaland, Mizoram, Punjab, and other places and behaved in brutal and cowardly manners there. But against its real, external enemies, India doesn’t dare enough. Thus, the Indian governments have consecutively proven that they are tigers against their own citizens, but paper tigers against their real, external enemies.
The white sahibs were replaced by the brown sahibs. The poor man is denied honest opportunity, and the bureaucrats aid and abet the concentration of Indian politicians on internal theft rather than external dangers.
In this regard, India’s greatest enemy is India itself. Forget about slaying the Chinese dragon or quelling Islamic forays into Kashmir: India has to arrest its own self before it can march into the Northwest and come into its own in resurrection of the ancient Mauryan empire that reached to the Hindu-koh mountains in Afghanistan, and had its culture permeate the entire Southeast Asia.
At times, hoping to resurrect the past can be seen as a pipedream, much as the Arabs who hope to resurrect their 10th to 12th century peak in world domination. This is because the Arabs have neither the industrial infrastructure nor the military discipline of the type that India has. In contrast, India has the necessary potential to overcome its adversaries to the Northwest and project itself as a regional power to contend with, rather than have a small Pakistan check India’s rise to its ultimate destiny.
India has a permanent reason and a great opportunity to invade Pakistan and finish it forever. History is on India’s side in this regard, since never in history was there a nation called Pakistan. India needs no excuse to invade Pakistan, since it has an excuse every day, and Pakistan keeps giving India more reasons without interruption. Thus, India needs to finish Pakistan to allow itself to grow and come into itself to contribute to the world. But, India is held back by the madness and lust of Indian politicians who rule India like the British did with the connivance of its opportunistic bureaucrats – whether in the IAS or engineering services or any government department. Therefore, the biggest enemy that India has is India itself, though it has the potential to become a regional and world power if it shows only a little bit of guts for national honor.