Thursday, March 09, 2006

Responding To Provocation

Pakistan lost its long twilight struggle with India last week.

Having enabled Nixon's landmark visit to China, it watched from humiliating cheap seats Bush's likely more significant visit to India.

For half a century, Pakistan courted the US and sacrificed even its (self-perceived) national interest at Washington's call. All this while, India made numerous policy mistakes.

It was perhaps reasonable, then, for Pakistani Generals to assume greatness in US shadows even as India fell apart from its mismanaged internal chaos.

History, however, has a way of clarifying wheat from chaff. If anything, Pakistan is the one that's falling apart while India ascends to its natural greatness.

This is as comprehensive a defeat as possible. If history is any guide, massive centrifugal forces are likely to follow as Pakistan's rationale for being is questioned by its smart, cost-benefit calculating, regional leaders.

No wonder General Musharraf is throwing a hissy fit!!

Given India's public relations imperative to maintain stability (both domestically and at LOC) to ensure the passage of the nuclear deal in the US Congress, Pakistan has a free pass to provoke -- which it will, trying to get Indians to act rashly in response.

We fear Varanasi is only just the beginning. More and worse is likely to follow. While India needs to take all possible steps to hunt down the terrorists and to secure our people, we must understand the likely nature of these provocations and not create an excuse for Pakistan's many friends in Washington to snub President Bush's deal with India.

It is India's measured response to even the most extreme Pakistani provocation that will, ironically, emerge as the fitting epitaph for the idea of Pakistan.


cynical nerd said...

PR: Provocation it is, but it could not have happened without local support. This is a new phenomenon we saw in IISc and Hyderabad bombing case where several local Muslim clerics were involved.

GoI faces a terrible dilemma, to satisfy the genuine anguish of Indians - it has to bring the terrorists to justice and prevent future attacks. the blatantly insensitive reaction by some Muslim leadership does'nt help the case either.

This will involve going after many a Muslim ghettos and dismantle the support networks - which will undoubtedly cause cries of 'Muslim persecution'.

India should simultaneously start some covert fireworks in the terrorist safehouses in Pindi and Clifton, Karachi. No point in spending 1000s crores in troop deployment only to buckle under American diplomatic pressure.

I think one of if your old posts which concluded :
Isn't this what Lord Krishna said to Arjun when the latter was struggling with his pathetic sentimentalism rather than doing what a soldier should do -- crush the enemy without remorse?

applies here as well.


libertarian said...

PR: I *so* hope you are right on all scores except the intensifying provocation part. Have to agree with that specific assessment though. There's going to be a storm before the calm.

CN: Agree that we need the capability for covert fireworks in Pindi and Karachi. The severity should be calibrated to the provocation. There's should be no doubt about which crime the "punishment" was for.


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