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The flawed “Pakistan policy”

I must tell you that in my growing years, and until very recently I hated Pakistan. If Pakistan lost a match, whether the game involved India or not, I rejoiced.

There is something about Pakistan that gets into the adrenaline of Indian prime ministers. While Indira Gandhi beat them to pulp in 1971, Vajpayee and Dr. Singh wanted to walk into history in the context of our vexatious neighbour.  These were genial men who unfortunately ran into headstrong counterparts.

And now Modi seems to be playing a blow-hot-blow-cold policy, which his bhakts are lapping up with characteristic elan.  Look at these for proof. First came the needless invitation for the swearing in at a time when they were firing guns across the border. Suddenly, the realisation dawned that such firing was not on and the diplomatic talks at the foreign secretary level was scrapped. Then came the floods in Pakistan and a quick offer to help Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. There was no response from the other party.  This was followed by cold-shouldering at the SAARC summit.

The moot point is, should we keep walking the extra mile to make friends with Pakistan? True, we cannot choose our neighbours but that does not mean we should be seen as softies. Well, nobody is suggesting that we go to war with them. But we need to show them that, “look, it’s thus far and no farther.”

This gets accentuated on account of several facts. First there were state actors in 26/11. We haven’t been able to book them. We have been content with executing a foot soldier called Kasab. Two, Pakistan has shown no inclination to help bring the perpetrators of 26/11 to justice. Our dossiers have stayed just that; dossiers: to be perhaps used as tissue papers. This government has not been able to move an inch on that; at least the previous one gamely tried.

 


No remorse...

That there is no remorse amongst the terrorists is clear from the way they shamelessly shot at and killed kids in a Peshawar army school. You must be completely out of your mind to kill innocent kids. Terrorism has come home to roost as far as Pakistan is concerned. Suddenly the country has woken up to the new reality and announced execution of all terrorists who are on death row. In retaliation, The Taliban has announced that it is ready to kill more children to teach Pakistan a lesson. If Pakistan doesn’t wake up now, it shall never wake up.  It needs to help India out so that it receives global approbation and support.

The Taliban has no justification, whatever the socio economic political compulsions, to resort to mindless terrorism. George Bush Jr., for all the monkeying that he was subjected to as being a man of limited intelligence showed that he had the gall to smoke Saddam Hussein out.  He was also hot in the pursuit of Osama Bin Laden. It’s another matter that success came during a different administration.

In contrast, India has been pussy footing. Modi, when he was not in power, talked about a 56 inches chest and the need to thrash Pakistan. Now that he is in power, he is more busy travelling abroad. And unfortunately his government is as clueless as the previous one. We should not forget that if you want peace, you should be prepared for war.   

If Modi wants to walk into history, he has to crack the Pakistan conundrum.

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