It is the destiny of these two nations, seventy years ago, some amongst our own ethnic stock separated on lines of having a country based on religious ideology. Pakistan was thus born. However, over a period of time, it got enmeshed in an internecine and fractious internal strife due to the nefarious nexus between terrorists, military establishment and politicians with an operating model of vengeance, hatred and jealousy.
India, as we know the other nation, embarked upon a development path with comprehensive vision and plan despite being riddled with poverty, deprivation or resources and resultant complex challenges . Modern India emerged through persistence on all of its challenges but a positive philosophy (guided by nationalist leaders with mature governance and a thriving democracy weaved with plural ideologies. India, as it stands today, is leading on several fronts as an international leader, despite the challenges.
Pakistan is fast emerging as a classic example of a failed state due to adoption of vexed and vitiated philosophy confounding its operating model. It is not only a laggard on most development milestones but notoriously ahead on malicious intent and act, primarily a hotbed of international terrorism, lawlessness and despotism and manipulation. Unfortunate though, an impressive ideology of its founders has not been successful to influence their operating model and it has become a cauldron of poverty, backwardness, radical views, brutality, injustice, violence, lack of opportunities, and a melting pot for radicalism and terrorism. Terrorism and Military is an industry that flourishes in Pakistan.
Any surgical strike is unlikely to subdue this industry and stop their cross border provocations. Future attempts by the terrorist would morph into more sophisticated, planned and coordinated attacks. While sentiments on waging a full-fledged war are understandable, it is hard to conceive the implications if ultimate weapons of mass destruction are used. It’s a perplexing to understand how to stop this menace.
For India, that would not only be militarily engaging but it will also mean keeping the country in a war readiness posture, not just in the short run but at least for sizable duration of time. This would consume significant revenue and funds would be diverted away from growth providing opportunities.
If we understand Pakistan as a failed model, the key driver towards this failure is the diversion of growth revenue towards militarization and persistent military adventurism against India and Afghanistan. We want to avoid the trap of diverting away from growth. Restrain, thus was pragmatic as ultra-low scale loss better as against significant buildup of capability from defense, to surveillance and resilience.
Should we disembark (on provocation) and walk the reactive path of knee jerk response to emotions (of few soldiers getting killed on the border) or should we explore and adopt new strategies to handle this menace of cross border terrorism? These are trying times in our history. This generation and the ones hereafter will bear the brunt of these decisions. Hope wisdom prevails.