Now that we have opted for ultra-short military expeditions and shrugged our long time policy of restrain and nuclear deterrence, we can very well call this as a watershed event in the history of the continent and for a massive populace. It’s but natural the way events in India are unfurling, they are creating a lot of curiosity and attention, not just it is our motherland but also its the foundation of our very existence. Here after, skirmishes and incursions will take a very different mode. Let us understand why and how.
To begin with, historically, there was never a nation called Pakistan. It was a strategic act instigated on the people of the subcontinent, separating them along the religious lines. Our ethnic stock, for reasons of historical, circumstantial and ideological purpose, adopted different religion and was separated and thus our ethnic destiny was artificially carved out. Its an irony, not all Muslims decided to form a country of their own religion, and even those who decided to set up Pakistan, started it as a sovereign nation with place for plurality where all religions could exist. To add to that, India still has quantitatively bigger population (of Muslims) and they enjoy better opportunities and quality of life in India. It would be worth for the Kashmiris to introspect and ask themselves, if given freedom, would they prefer joining Pakistan?
Irrespective, when Pakistan was formed, regions and or kingdoms could opt for staying independent, or joining either India or Pakistan. History has it that the King of Kashmir decided to join India. We all know how those events unfurled. Pakistan still harbors a pain and anguish that Kashmir should have been part of their territory. Since the time of independence, skirmishes, fomented by Pakistan, has been a normal feature on the India Pakistan border. Gradually, malice and mal-intent has crept into their political ideology and establishment. It has relentlessly struggled overtly by sending troops or covertly inciting insurgency and provoked separatist movements. This comes especially at the cost of the well being of Pakistani people (who opted for having their own land) and Kashmiri populace, to whom they have been luring to join their country. Seven decades and after losing major part of their body in 1971, they are thoroughly frustrated. Their covert activities are incessantly and ceaselessly at work, since the time of independence.
It’s their self-respect and self-identity (Asmita ) at stake. It has been the key driver of all these malicious acts and atrocities. Suffice it to say that, all these big wars or these minor skirmishes have origin in distorted self-pride and identity.
Self Pride at Stake again?
Recent Uri incidence and the reactive surgical strike by India to destroy terrorist launch pads will further aggravate this distorted self-pride. How do you expect them to react? Had this been a sane country and a civilized mature democracy, the world would have pounced on India. However, history is contrary to the facts and they have not just lost the moral ground but actually deprived of one due to their own making. No one ever condemned India, no objections too. They all know who is the Principal and persistent violator of peace and sovereignty. In fact, there is tacit support for India’s action. However, let’s stop here and understand Pakistani establishment’s plight and India’s Euphoria (obviously not a moment to rejoice as yet).
Overtly, Pakistan will never admit Indian surgical strike into their territory. It’s ‘Abru’ at stake, ‘Can’t Admit. Can’t Swallow’ (historically, the most common reason for going to war). Now, that we know they can’t swallow. Let’s see how they would react. Several options are open but one thing is sure, current administration has shown that this is watershed event and future incursions, covert attacks are unlikely to go unheeded. Naturally, Pakistan is unlikely to stop this behavior, there is a complete industry and establishment that exists on the basis of this distorted identity principle, that heinous thought of jealousy.
Here after, when they sent artificial (non native) insurgents, obviously knowing that India is watching from the sky, they will first prepare the army to cover up their heinous covert operations. Unless sense prevails, it’s just escalations from these point onward. India is going to retaliate with its strong brute force. Pakistan is going to take further beating and it would start that vicious cycle, that negative cycle of escalations with additional increasing display of brute force from either side, obviously called a war.
If you recollect my previous blog (written on Sept 22/23, 2016, Ash), I cautioned this cascading into major conflict and possibly a nuclear confrontation that would cause deluge not just for this part of the world but also likely to reluctantly draw major countries. Almost the entire world will be on its toes. Severe and sincere intervention efforts will be underway to prevent this catastrophe. That’s one scenario. I was hoping India would play more tactical and strategic rather than directly jump into bravado.
Another scenario would be Pakistan waging a covert war. There is a high probability of covert happenings. If I am not wrong, my lurking suspicion is still on those four people who were spotted by the kids at Uran on the outskirts of Mumbai. This is not an isolated example, miscreants like these might have already infiltrated and positioned themselves to create situations like 26/11 or some events of biological warfare. That they have the support of China and possibly Russia, even technological war is not far-fetched.
To remind readers not in US, major Cyber-attacks in US are carried from China and East Europe. We have to be on high alert and not just physically vigilant but technologically savvy and advanced in safeguarding our infrastructure, weather it is our dams, or industries or military installations. The gamut of challenges are wide open. There is a serious need for scenario and impact analysis. We need to get back to business with a pragmatic business continuity and disaster recovery plan and test our resilience. Communicate that to our people. That’s just the very high level of building the defense.
What about the offense? Understand, we have to play the offense too. In fact, we have the technological and strategic advantage to play the offensive line too. All these same things can be employed by India. Not very long ago, we all know what happened at Natanz. Stuxnet simply brought down Iran to discussion table. Understanding the strategic importance of this, I will intentionally refraining from going into too many technological details or anecdotes.
However, let us understand not to celebrate any success. Let’s get ready for the next steps. We have a long way to go and lot to do.
With Love for India,