Pulwama: Pakistan’s Reaction And India’s Options

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Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has been at great pains to emphasise that “The Indian dream of diplomatically isolating Pakistan would never come true”. “Meetings with German, Canadian, and Uzbek Foreign Ministers and Afghan President have shown that India’s claim of ‘Diplomatically Isolating’ Pakistan has failed”, he told the Media in Germany.

The narrative of Kashmiris being targeted across India has been played out by giving names and places including statements by the so-called victims. India is being referred to as the ‘Republic of Delusion’ and it is being insinuated that the country has, “Blinded itself to the reality that its problem is not Pakistan but its own savage treatment of the People of Occupied Kashmir”.

The aforementioned makes it quite obvious that Pakistan is not going to take the pressure being built by India lying down! It is, in fact, ready to fight back every inch of the way on all fronts including the Economic, Diplomatic and Military Options that India would be considering. India, therefore, needs to be ready for a long haul for which patience and confidence in her abilities need to remain intact. The ‘Emotions’ enveloping the People of India in the wake of the dastardly terror attack are understandable. The situation, however, demands a fair degree of thought being give to the options of retribution available. The foremost requirement is strengthening of the ‘Internal Security Mechanism’ since an enemy should always be tackled from a position of strength. The Voice of Kashmir should resonate for India even as the ‘Agents of Pakistan’ in Kashmir are neutralised in totality; the ‘Separatists and divisive elements’ should be subjected to the harshest treatment under law to set an example for those inclined towards pursuing Anti-National activities at the behest of the enemy. The sources of radicalisation of the Youth need to be nipped in bud regardless of the political feathers and religious sentiments ruffled. Counter-Terrorist operations need to gain momentum to finish off the remnants of Terrorism. At the same time, Security procedures need to be strengthened to ensure that own forces are not subjected to a Terrorist attack or related Mishaps.

It is important to hit hard at Pakistan’s ‘Weak Points’! The Weakest at the moment are its precarious ‘Financial Condition’, the huge wave of unrest palpable in all provinces other than Punjab and the virtual take-over of the country by ‘Fundamentalist Forces’.

India needs to impress upon the International community the need to ensure that the ‘Financial Bailout’ for Pakistan comes only with the caveat of Visible Action against the terrorist and fundamentalist infrastructure being nurtured on its soil. The fact that Chinese assistance is coming with the intention of converting Pakistan into a virtual colony needs to be impressed upon the ‘Common People’ of the Country who will be the ‘Worst Sufferers’. The Genuine Problems being faced by the People, especially the ‘Disputed Status’ of Balochistan and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (P.O.K), need to be highlighted as an issue of ‘Global Concern’.

Seeking retribution with a limited Military Strike may offer a ‘Morale Boost’ for the Country but it will not have any far reaching impact. An all out ‘War’ will also remain inconclusive in the long run even if India emerges with a ‘Resounding Victory’. What would pay long term ‘Dividends’ is an all ‘Compassing Strategy’ which builds gradual but sustained ‘Pressure’ till the ‘End Point’ is not achieved.  

Kanchan Basu

[email protected]

Kolkatta

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