Abolish the Nuisance of Pakistan - 5
Bharat's attempts to cow Pakistan by threats of conventional or nuclear attack failed, at least so far, leaves the Bharatiya government, the choice of humiliating inaction or attacking Pakistan. For its part, Pakistan has continued playing a exceedingly risky game of nuclear "chicken" with Bharat over Kashmir. If peace is to be achieved in the Indian Sub-continent, then some western countries and pseudo-secular Bharatiyas want to allow Pakistan to make Hindus bleed, dominate Hindus, take Jammu and Kashmir, Assam or else VIOLENCE will continue.
In Jammu and Kashmir, Muslim militants kill Hindus indiscriminately, which is why they are called "ultras" by the Bhartiya media. By killing Hindus indiscriminately, the aim of ultras is to prompt a war between Bharat and Pakistan. Odds are, they are about to succeed. A war would also, they presume, bring in the international community to help to transfer Kashmir from Bhartiya control to Pakistan and solve their other problems. The ultras mostly Pakistanis and Afganistanis are not interested in political settlements. They want a war that disrupts U.S. military operations and punishes Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf for assisting the United States and for hosting U.S.military forces. They want to kill Hindus. Pakistan is the "Jihad Factory" and Pakistan is the "epicenter of global terrorism." The bases for training Muslim militants have been disrupted in Afghanistan by U.S. military actions, but they are operating in Pakistan. Militants are inserted across the Kashmir valley with the active support of Pakistan army and intelligence agencies.
Jim Hoagland's column in THE WASHINGTON POST sums up the immediate task before Bush Administration in his article "Misreading Musharraf" thus:
"By misreading Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the Bush administration has contributed to a dangerous confrontation between South Asia's two nuclear-armed rivals. Managing Musharraf and Pakistan's role in Operation Enduring Freedom is a tricky task. But Powell and his chief aides have devoted too little time and energy to that demanding job since mid-February. They have let events drag them back in belatedly to separate two nuclear-armed antagonists. The Pakistani military ruler has shown in the past two months that when it comes to the half-century conflict over Kashmir, he is an extraordinary risk-taker. He has dared India to fight. And he has just as boldly reneged on a promise to the Bush White House to shut down terror camps in Kashmir. The two steps are part and parcel of his brinkmanship. "The debate about what is going on has been settled," says one U.S. official involved in the contentious discussions here about Musharraf's abandoned pledge to cut off help and training that this intelligence services and military give to terrorists in Kashmir and India. "The rate of infiltration into Indian-occupied Kashmir is above the rate of a year ago. What is still being debated is Musharraf's intention. Is he unable or unwilling to prevent what is happening? And what do we do about either case?" Pakistan helped create and foster al Qaieda and the Taliban. It has long used terror as an instrument of state policy to try to break India's hold on two-thirds of Kashmir that New Delhi controls. Confronted with anything less than unrelenting pressure, Musharraf will keep on gambling, up to the brink and -- in a matter of days from now -- perhaps beyond."
The Bharatiya government feels that U.S. President George W. Bush is too dependent on Pakistan for the war against al-Qaida to pressure Musharraf to stop the infiltration. U.S. appeals for continued restraint to Bharat only deepen Bharat’s sense of grievance.
IT IS INDIA'S TURN TO ASK U.S.: ARE YOU WITH US OR...? By GITESH DESAI, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, MAY 21, 2002 I
An eye for an eye is the only solution for countering Pakistani terrorism. Infiltrate our own terrorists into Pakistan and kill the Pakistanis for every incident of terrorism in Bharat. Get all the marginal farmers from Punjab and Haryana and allot them a few acres in Kashmir. Organize them into militia with right to the spoils of loot from across the border. Then when Pakistan comes to its senses and peace talks, insist on the extradition of Dawood Ibrahim and all other terrorist criminals like Masood Azhar before peace talks can begin.
Love for cease-fire and getting good marks from the international community should not lead to Bharat's disintegration.
In our private lives, we Bharatiyas understand justice, friendship and enmity very well. Our religious texts like Mahabharat tell stories of wars fought with in a family to secure justice. The Hindu gods and goddesses carry and use weapons to fight evil.
The Arthshastra, Panchantantra and other parts of our cultural heritage give common sense advice about how to deal with conflicts and provocateurs. Most of the Bollywood movies show struggle between good and evil, with closure coming from the destruction or repentance of the evil. In our daily lives we don't tolerate insults or attacks against families or ourselves. Many even go the extreme of continuing feuds for decades. In short, we do not make friends with those who are not friendly towards us. Bhartiya people show tremendous self-respect in their personal lives. But how do we behave like a nation?
It is a fact that Pakistan has been killing our soldiers and civilians through its terrorists. It tries to flood Bharat with fake Bhartiya currency. It causes killings and bombings in various parts of Bharat.
Through its continuing acts and pronouncements, Pakistan has declared its intention of breaking Bharat apart; Pakistan behaves like, and is, an enemy of Bharat.
The point to note is that Bharat has not done anything bad to Pakistan. Not even Pakistan claims that Bharat is doing anything to hurt it. But Bharat does - correctly- claim regularly that Pakistan is causing terrorism and destruction in Bharat. Thus Pakistan is the aggressor; we are merely defenders. Truth, justice and righteousness are squarely on our side. Since this enmity is actively, perpetuated by Pakistan, logic dictates that terrorist activities in Bharat will end when Pakistan stops or is forced to stop hurting Bharat. Being on the defensive side, Bharat has no positive incentives to offer Pakistan to change its enmity. All our hopes, pleadings and appeals for peace are not strong enough to stop Pakistan from its terrorism. Yes, peace is highly desirable outcome. But one side merely hoping for peace while the aggressor continues its terrorism does not result in peace - it results in the demise of the defender.
M. V. Kamath has taken all such issues in his excellent following article What is the alternative except war? Some people has already read or seen this article, but due to the excellence and timeliness of this article, it needs wide circulation. What is the alternative except war?
http://www.samachar.com/features/230502-fpj.html 23rd May 2002
By M.V. Kamath Source: Free Press Journal May 23, 2002
How many more people need to be killed in Jammu & Kashmir by Pakistan-sponsored jihadists, how many more times need railway coaches have to be torched and the Indian Parliament itself brought under attack before the Government of Bharat resorts to meaningful action? The calculated attack on family members of Army personnel in the Kaluchak Cantonment in Jammu the day US Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca arrived in Delhi was obviously well-planned and intended, on the part of the jihadists, to show their utter contempt for the United States. What that attack indicates is either Gen. Musharraf's complicity in the matter or his utter irrelevance. It is no secret that Musharraf is an active supporter of Kashmiri separatists; indeed, he has never made any bones of his "moral support" to the jihadists.
Are we to presume that the United States wants to go down in history as his behind-the-scene backer? The United States can't have it both ways: either it takes firm action against him or it surrenders to his tactics. Firm action involves stoppage of all economic aid and isolation of Pakistan. It also involves taking complete charge of Pakistan's nuclear capabilities, so that it can't even dream of mounting a nuclear attack against Bharat. The United States must make it clear to the General that either he delivers on his promise to control terrorists or he quits. We have it from Bruce Riedel, a Director on the Clinton Administration's National Security Council that Musharraf has been wanting to "humble Bharat once and for all". He is welcome to make his attempt.
But in that case the United States must withdraw its Armed Force and its American personnel in its Embassy at Islamabad without further ado and leave it to India to handle Pakistan as it thinks fit. To keep saying that Bharat and Pakistan must get back to the negotiating table is to make a mockery of human suffering. What is there to negotiate? Bharat cannot and will not - give up Jammu & Kashmir. Indeed, it had every right to take over what now is Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. And it should pursue it in right earnest. This is not a matter for negotiations. Chief of Army Staff, General S. Padmanabhan put it straight when he said: "It's time for action now. The more we talk, the less we will act. We should not play to the gallery any more." And he said for all to hear: "As far as I am concerned, I'm ready for any kind of action". In other words, the Indian Army is only waiting for the order to march into POK. If necessary, into Pakistan itself.
A war against Pakistanis, to put it plainly, 'dharma yuddha', except that one does not proclaim it from the housetops. Even if it is conceded that the Pakistan Army, too, is ready for battle, the time and place for waging it must necessarily have to remain a secret. This is best left to the policy makers in the Armed Forces. We are told that full-scale war is not an option. Four reasons are adduced in support of inaction. One that the United states is opposed to war, as that would undermine some core U.S objectives. Two, that unleashing war against Pakistan would mean that U.S. troops presently stationed in Pakistan would have to be withdrawn summarily to which Washington is opposed. Three, that Bharat will have to reckon with the possibility of Islamabad unleashing a nuclear attack on Bhartiya cities and four, that Bhartiya military machine may not quite be in a position to acquire a decisive edge over Pakistan inside a week. To be effective, it is claimed, Bharat will have to wind up military operations within ten days at the maximum.
As against this we have Gen. Padmanabhan's assurance that on his part he is ready "for any kind of action". One would presume that he knows what he is saying. And one would imagine that the Bharatiya Armed Forces are ready to face any contingency. Or why would it have been moved to the border and maintained there all these weeks? The point to remember is that every day's delay gives Pakistan time and space to strengthen its position and make it that much harder for Bharat. There is no such thing as a 'calibrated response' to Pakistan. Gen. Musharraf plainly wants a war.
For the United States two options are open: To give an ultimatum to Musharraf and force him to fight the jihadists in toto or to itself take over the administration of Pakistan and face a revolt. If it cannot execute either, then it must let Bharat have its way and even help Delhi in its mission to subjugate Islamabad - and thereafter the jihadists. The NDA government is meanwhile being inundated with unsought advice. It is told, for example, "to resist the political temptation to opt for even a limited military strike against Pakistan". The presumption is that the United States will force Musharraf to rein in his terrorists. That is some hope. The United States can do nothing of that sort. It has not even been able to locate bin Laden, the most wanted criminal in Afghanistan and Pakistan, for the simple reason that the Pakistan Armed Forces are giving him shelter.
Musharraf will hum and haw; he will give endless promises but in another few weeks one can be sure that Pakistan jihadists will repeat another Kulachak and we will again go through the meaningless cycle of threatening action but stopping short of doing anything. How long is this theatre of the absurd to continue? Let us face it: the Rocca Mission to Islamabad has been a total failure. One can't expect anything better from Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage's visit either. What faith can one put in the United States when under its guidance, the World Bank is processing a $ 500 million loan to Pakistan? Is that support to be a friendly gesture towards Bharat? Musharraf must be laughing in his sleeves at America's naivete. He is having everything his own way. If Ms Rocca is to be believed - and she is on record - Pakistan is a friend of the United States. This must be the oddest, quaintest friend the United States has had in its two hundred-year history.
Bharat has NO option. It has to bring Pakistan to book. What it has to brood over is how to do it. And let it be stated clearly: time is not in its favor. The longer it takes to come to a decision, the faster it enables Pakistan to martial its forces. America's argument in support of Musharraf is that if he is deposed someone even worse than him may assume power. That is a risk one must take. Besides it must be remembered that unlike Bharat, Pakistan is a state by grace and favor of the United States and the European Union. Should that favour be withdrawn nobody can service in Islamabad. If American forces are withdrawn from Pakistan and if Washington refuses any kind of military assistance (even second hand through Saudi Arabia), Islamabad can be brought to its knees. And that is what Bharat's aim should be. Washington may frown at it but the best solution to the Kashmir problem is the break up of Pakistan and the setting up of India-friendly states of Sind and Baluchistan. Then the Hurriyat in Kashmir will get the message. The United States may not consider this to be in its interests but it must be told firmly that it cannot run with the Bharat hare and hunt with jihadi hound. Washington is taking Delhi for a ride with sweet words and no action. This kind of tomfoolery has to stop. Of course it will cost Bharat a lot.
For the last war Bharat fought against Pakistan the citizens had to pay dearly for almost a decade. But how long are we to suffer Pakistan-inflicted indignities and to what end? For a smile from the White House? For a pat on the back from the anti-Semitic European Union? Unless the entire Pakistan jihadi apparatus is smashed for good, Bharat will never be left in peace. That is for sure. Musharraf is not a man to be trusted on his own record. In his speech soon after he assumed power in October 1999, he conjured up a vision of a modern Islamic state like Turkey; he promised, among other things, state control of madrassas through various measures, documentation of the economy to prevent tax evasion; signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), a general sales tax on retail trade and curbs on smuggling on the Afghan route. He has reneged on all promises. After having a few hundred known and suspected jihadis arrested, he had most of them quietly released and few are any wiser for it.
His backtracking on measures to curb jihadi culture is the talk of the town in Pakistan. Either he can't change Pakistan or he doesn't want to. Either way he is a menace not just to Bharat but to the entire world. And if the United States wants to shut its eyes, God alone can help Washington. But that doesn't mean that Bharat must look on helplessly. The Bharatiya Government has confirmed information of 75 training camps for terrorists in operation on the Pakistani side of the border. Delhi is also aware - and the information has been shared with Washington - that about 3,000 Al Qaida militants of different nationalities have recently shifted base from Afghanistan to Pakistan. In the face of all this, is Bharat expected to sit back with folded hands and wait for Doomsday?
Meanwhile within Bharatiya borders a warning should be sent to Congress President Sonia Gandhi who has been making the most irresponsible statements. She has been quoted as saying, "the fault lies entirely with the Government". The fault, she must know was originally that of Jawaharlal Nehru; that fault was further compounded by Indira Gandhi at Simla. Sonia Gandhi should be told that criticizing the government at this juncture would be an unpatriotic act. The nation has paid enough for the Nehru-Gandhi shortsightedness in the past.
HOUSTON CHRONICLE, MAY 21, 2002 INDIA'S TURN TO ASK U.S.: ARE YOU WITH US OR...? By GITESH DESAI
AFTER Sept. 11, India was among the first countries in the world to offer its unconditional support to the United States in the fight against terrorism declared by President Bush. Being a victim of terrorism itself, India knows very well what kind of pain and suffering, death and destruction the scourge of terrorism can bring. India has been bleeding from the perpetual specter of terrorism by Pakistan-based and -supported terrorist groups for several years. In the last decade, jihadi forces have killed thousands of innocent people in India. The terrorist attack of Oct. 1 on the Jammu and Kashmir State Assembly and the Dec. 13 attack on the Indian Parliament last year could have wiped out the entire Indian political leadership. Although one-half million Indian troops have been deployed at its border with Pakistan for the last few months after the Parliament building attack, India has shown remarkable restraint despite repeated provocations. India's Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has undertaken many diplomatic efforts to defuse the tense situation. India has been saying for the last few months that it is running out of patience. Last week's devastating terrorist attack on an Indian army camp in the state of Jammu and Kashmir that killed 34 civilians -- including more than 20 women and children -- crossed the threshold. It appears that India is preparing to bring its war on terrorism to its "logical conclusion." At the request of the Bush administration, India has waited long enough not to strike any terrorist targets based in Pakistan and, as a result of that, has continued to suffer a heavy death toll. India refuses to wait any longer. India expelled Pakistan's ambassador from New Delhi on Saturday. It appears that both countries are heading for a war as most of the channels of communication between the two neighbors have broken. U.S. assurances given to India have changed nothing in curbing infiltration across the border from Pakistan. President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan promised to take action against Islamic militants in his famous Jan. 12 speech. He arrested nearly 2,000 men linked to terrorists under international pressure. This crackdown on militants was a sham. Most of the militants that were arrested are now free. After Musharraf made a U-turn and claimed to stamp out all forms of terror originating from his country, violence and terror from Pakistan have continued against Indians in Jammu and Kashmir. India's ruling coalition and opposition leaders both expressed deep anguish in a Parliament debate on Saturday and urged Vajpayee not to wait for Washington's permission to take action. India's Home Minister L.K. Advani, who is considered the power behind the throne, said he is angry with Pakistan but disappointed with the United States. India's deputy foreign minister was not as polite. He thundered, "It is time to tell them the same thing that President Bush said: `If you are not with us, you are with the terrorists.' If this is the support we are going to get from the international community, then please take your support back -- we don't want it." India has rightly criticized the U.S. stance over terrorism because so far the Bush administration has only offered lip service and has not pressured Pakistan enough to clamped down on militants. India perceives the United States as having double standards and doubts Washington's intentions in supporting the global war against terrorism. India does not need assurances; it should be given the United States' open support in taking tough, punitive action against terrorists in Pakistan. India's military generals have briefed the Indian government and as a result, Vajpayee has canceled his vacation to weigh his options. This is a signal to both Pakistan and the West that India is serious about doing whatever it takes to bring terrorism to an end and will not submit itself to Pakistan's nuclear blackmail. In such an eventuality, the United States must side with democratic India and not dictatorial Pakistan to crush acts of terror. Bush and Vajpayee established last November a significantly new bilateral relationship between India. They agreed to fight terrorism and its sponsors everywhere in the world. They emphasized that there is only one choice and only one outcome: Terrorism must be fought and it shall be defeated.
Desai is a Houston-based free-lance writer and an activist in the Indian-American community here.