Date: 5/28/2002


...........Abolish the Nuisance of Pakistan - 3

A military solution to the Kashmir problem has never been implemented in a complete manner. From a historical perspective ever since Kashmir acceded legally to Bharat by the Maharaja signing on the document of accession, all military activities have been impeded by the dim witted decisions made by the Political masters in Delhi. Today we see many ordinary citizens in Bharat who have no knowledge of military matters speak out of turn and without the benefit of experience

All Military gains in past Wars with Pakistan were squandered away by stupid Governments headed by Congress leaders Nehru, Shastri and Indira Gandhi, and by Vajpayee in Kargil. All of them are indeed Modern day "PRITHVIRAJS".

In a democracy the Political Leaders are almost always non-Military people. After launching a War or a military attack these leaders should definitely give the Military Commanders a lot of leeway to plan and execute their offensive without undue interference. The Political leaders should have taken factors like International Pressures, Fuel Supplies, Trade related problems etc. etc before launching the War. Having taken the plunge, the matters are best left in the Military's hands to plan their strategy. Yet the ultimate responsibility remains with the Political leadership in a Democracy.

But in a situation like ours, it is obvious that heavy sacrifices will have to be paid by the Nation. To keep fearing of these possible negative effects of War will not take us anywhere and we will be repeating the old mistakes. The other perspective is that these same possible negative effects are also valid for Pakistan in a much more serious manner. The International Reaction is ultimately decided by individual self-interest in the long run. In the short run, many Western Countries will threaten Bharat in various ways but the history tells us that everybody ultimately praises the Winner.

What harm has been done to China by the negative World opinion regarding their ruthless attacks on Tibet, Tianaman Square and supplying Nuclear help to Pakistan against American and Western opposition?

All the sensible people in Bharat are saying now that time has come to teach a very befitting lesson to Pakistan. In the following article, Retired Major General Afsar Karim has put forward the case for taking a very strong action against Pakistan.

Major General (Retd) Afsar Karim has said that 'It's time to teach Pakistan a lesson'

The Prime Minister has stated on the floor of the Lok Sabha that Bharat will retaliate and "counter" the latest attack from across the border. The question is how can we counter this? There is no doubt that Pakistan continues to aid and abet infiltration from across the border in Bharat. The massacre in Jammu is the latest and one of the most barbaric manifestations of this policy of proxy-war.

The time has come to hit Pakistan hard. The time has come to ‘punish’ Pakistan. So far, Bharat and the Prime Minister have talked, in the past, of "aar-paar ki ladaiyee" (fight to the finish). But precious little has been done on that front. Only talk and no action will not lead us anywhere.

Among the many options most often quoted is hitting the terrorist training camps run by the ISI and the Pakistan government in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), near the LoC through artillery or by strike aircraft. But I think this option would be a soft option for Bharat. Firstly, one can almost be sure that Pakistan has dismantled most of the camps near the LoC and moved them into the interiors as they can presume that this is one mode of retaliation expected from Bharat.

Secondly, this sort of retaliation is not enough. A dozen strikes on the camps entails no cost for Pakistan and it is something that they can easily absorb.

Bharatiya retaliation has to be asymmetrical. Bharat not only needs to ‘retaliate’ but it also has to ‘punish’ Pakistan. Retaliation would mean just a counter, for instance hitting camps; by ‘punishment’ I mean that the counter has to be on a scale that entails a huge cost for Pakistan.

It has to be disproportionate to the cost that Pakistan incurs on aiding, abetting and encouraging infiltration and state-sponsored terrorism from across the border.

Our retaliation has to be such that it has to severely pinch the Pakistanis. Now, I will shy away from detailing what that ‘asymmetrical’ action would be. That is for the government and the Bharatiya armed forces to judge.

The oft-repeated contingency that has been cited to preclude Bharat from following such a policy is that there is a great risk of war and that Pakistan can exercise its nuclear option.

Now, I certainly agree that the first fear, the danger of our retaliation leading to an armed conflagration, is genuine and has to be factored in.

But I do not think that a limited and controlled action by Bharat will necessarily result in a nuclear response from Pakistan. Because the Pakistanis know that the cost of pressing the nuclear button will be very grave for them.

There have been reports from the US that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had one hand on the nuclear button during the Kargil war. I am not so sure of the veracity of such reports.

Now, even if theoretically, a madman in Pakistan were to go for the Nuclear option, the result will be that while the northern part of Bharat will be affected, Pakistan, too, will cease to exist.

Let me hasten to clarify that by no stretch of imagination am I advocating a belligerence by Bharat or indeed a nuclear conflagration. That is far from my mind. But I am only discussing, theoretically as it were, the options before Bharat.

While I am certain that Bharat has to act decisively, I am not advocating any off-the-cuff reaction by the government.

I'm aware that the Jammu massacre has led to raised tempers in Parliament. The statement of the Prime Minister and other leaders in Parliament have been influenced by the proximity of the carnage in Jammu.

We'll have to wait a little while to see if the government and the opposition are serious about countering the threat from across the borders or it turns out be the heat of the moment getting the better of our Parliamentarians.

Let's hope against hope that the former is the case.

(Major General (Retd) Afsar Karim is a member of the Advisory Board of the National Security Council of India.)

Public opinion in favour of ‘appropriate response’ to Pak, India tells US

Washington, May 23: Declaring that public opinion was strongly in favour of an appropriate response, India has told the United States that people wanted an end to cross-border terrorism and acts of violence.

Highlighting the sense of anger prevalent among the people over the continuing outrages by terrorists, Defence secretary Yogendra Narain in his talks with top US officials said this was reflected in a unanimous resolution passed by the two Houses of Parliament on the issue.

Conveying to Washington India's grave concern over Islamabad's continued sponsorship and abetment of cross-border terrorist activity, Narain, who met Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, said unabated infiltration across the LoC was leading to increased killings.

He said this was evidenced by the latest brutal attack on May 14 on the families of Indian soldiers. He pointed out that Pakistan had shown no evidence of living up to January 12 promises held out by President Pervez Musharraf.

Narain led a 14-member inter-services delegation to the US at the invitation of Under-secretary of Defence Douglas Keith for the fourth meeting of the Defence Policy Group (DPG) from May 21-23.

Accompanied by Indian Ambassador Lalit Mansingh, Narain held meetings with us Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Joint Chief of Staff Gen. Myers, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley.

DPG, which is the apex body to review and give further impetus to the ongoing co-operation between defence ministries of the two countries, went into the issue of expediting procurement of weapons from the US.

Briefing on the missile development was given and a new proposal on environmental security co-operation was also mooted.

Its joint technical group identified areas for future co-operation between the two countries. Both sides appreciated the fact that the Indo-US defence relationship since December 2001 and the DPG had become the driving force in various sectors of Indo-US defence co-operation.

When Muslim terrorists destroyed World Trade Center, then United States came all the way came to Afganisthan, to destroy to destroy Al-Qaieda and Taliban. But when Hindus are killed in Kashmir, then united States keep putting pressure on Bharat to restrain for taking action against Pakistan who is the epicenter of all the terrorist activities taking place in whole Bharat.

Since the birth of Pakistan, United States is Pro-Pakistan and anti-Bharat, anti-Hindu. During Bangla Desh war, to browbeat Bharat, United States frigate moved in Bay of Bengal, to put pressure on Bharat for not starting war against Pakistan in Bangla Desh. But looking at the situation at that time, army generals and advisors told Indira Gandhi to go head and declare war against Pakistan in Bengal. The decision of army and Bharat to declare war against Pakistan proved correct at that time.

Now the condition in Kashmir in East Bengal is much worse as compared to the condition in East Bengal. Bharat must go ahead and declare war against Pakistan ignoring the pressure of United States to Bharat to "keep restrain".

For the past dozen years, West Europeans have concentrated on building the attributes of soft power. The Euro has arrived. So, too, have new attributes towards the United States. European union trade commissioner Pascal Lamy concedes that the best way to get applause in the European parliament is to stand up and denounce America. Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar of Spain admitted recently that being down on America gets you points for being "simpatico" in the European union. Indeed the relationship has changed. West union got tired of playing the role of deputy Sheriff during the Cold War. Now, it seems, they have grown tired of the Sheriff too.

PM delaying war under pressure

The VHP is disappointed with the absence of concrete action over the Prime Minister’s threats to wage war against Pakistan. It said on May 24 that the PM is ‘‘under some external pressure’’. VHP vice-president Acharya Giriraj Kishore said a final solution to Kashmir could be found only through a ‘‘decisive war’’. ‘‘The Kashmir issue cannot be solved without administering proper treatment to Pakistan. The Center must decide once for all. This is not the VHP’s opinion alone.’’

He dubbed Pakistan unreliable and said it would support terrorism once international pressure eased. According to Kishore, the changing statements of the PM and his Cabinet colleagues showed they were yielding to ‘‘external intervention’’.

When pushed to specify, he said the Center was under US pressure. ‘‘First, they talked about a decisive war and asked the Army to be ready. Now, they talk about not taking the extreme course and adopting a wait-and-watch policy.’’