Indian Wishes Fuel Pakistani Will

By Wg. Cdr. (Retd.) Sunil Sawant, March 2001

As a nation, Indians are selfless people. We wish for a great happy future. In our eagerness to realize that future, we ignore to systematically take care of the ground reality, and do everything that we ought to be doing only after crossing the present hurdles. We repeatedly try to wish away the reality, and focus solely on a glorious future of our dreams. This reflects in the way we deal with our national crises, our handling of adversaries, and our historical track record.

Pakistan's very birth was a partial death of India. An India which lacked the will power to prevent its dismemberment would hardly have ever aspired to reverse that historical truth. So the Partition should have ushered in an era of peace between the two nations. It did not, because even though India had peace in mind, Pakistan did not. Pakistan initiated the Kashmir grab and occupied more than half of it. It initiated all the wars including the Kargil intrusion. Its generals and strategists openly admit that because Pakistan is a lesser power, it has to be actively on the offensive to change the status quo. The Pakistani aggression comes in the face of India's desperate containing and holding actions. Not even Pakistan claims that India does anything to harm it.

Indians at large have failed to see this reality. We merely wish for a friendly relationship with Pakistan. India regularly extends the Most Favored Nation status of Pakistan, allowing it trade benefits. Our intellectuals, movie and media personalities, retired diplomats and soldiers, and politicians speak about Pakistan as a teenager would speak about a pop idol. Even influential overseas Indian groups like The Indus Entrepreneurs talk about making Pakistan an Information Technology superpower. Not only do they talk the talk, they walk the walk by investing in Pakistan to build up its IT infrastructure! Our actions defy common sense!

Pakistan behaves like the textbook definition of an enemy. We need to realize this and deal with it appropriately. The strategic Four Fs of war fighting are: Find the enemy, Fix the enemy, Fight the enemy and Finish the enemy. India fails at the very first stage, lets the enemy do the second stage to us, tries to shy away from the third stage even as the enemy is engaging us in it, and is horrified at the mere prospect of the final stage!

Pakistan is like a person who is beating up another person, but keeps swearing friendship all throughout. The victim is getting beat up, but at the same time sweet words of harmony are falling on his ears. Should the victim trust the feedback that his body is giving, or should he trust his ears and ignore the beating? To any sensible person, the answer should be clear. India forgets that there is no judge in this case to issue a restraining order, and that it has to defend itself. But instead of even beginning to defend itself, India incredibly bestows sweetness upon Pakistan in various ways. This attitude of the victim must amaze and delight Pakistan to no end! Worse, it fuels the Pakistani determination of finishing India for good. Pakistan realizes that either India's sensory organs are not recognizing the beating it gives, or India's brain is not capable of identifying the deadly threat. Whatever the reason, Pakistan is utilizing the repeated opportunities India provides to fool its brain and kill its body.

With active help from China and others, Pakistan has created so many situations right within India that we are always pre-occupied dealing with them. Pakistan keeps adding to these problems regularly. India is so busy simply defending itself from Pakistani terror on our own soil that we are not in a position to identify the root cause of the problem and deal with it. India struggles to pay the ballooning interest even as the principal remains untouched. For how long can India go on like this? India behaves like a kid with its fingers in the hole of a dike. There are many more holes. Pakistan keeps creating new holes and enlarging existing ones. But India is happy to continue on its strategy of using its fingers to fill the holes. India fails to recognize that it doesnít have enough fingers, and that Pakistan's continuing activities are overwhelming it. Instead of using our superiority to fix Pakistan inside a tight frame and eliminate its potential of causing trouble, our ineptitude and lack of desire to prevail have allowed Pakistan to do it to us!

With critical failures at the first two stages of the game, India has nowhere to go but down. Because we get taken in by Pakistani rhetoric and fail to sense the wounds it simultaneously causes, we basically act like a friend of our enemy. That is why our Prime Minister wishes for a strong and stable Pakistan, our economic giants work to build a powerful Pakistan, and our intellectuals pine for friendship with Pakistan. They fail to realize that friendship is a two-way street. India unilaterally treats an enemy like a friend. That is suicidal. Why should Pakistan reciprocate friendship with India if it is succeeding in its plan of destroying India?

In the Alcoholics Anonymous recovery program, the first stage is acceptance of the problem. Even after numerous indications that Pakistan is not changing, India continues to be in denial. India wants to climb down from the 12th floor to the ground in one step, without considering that doing this will damage it permanently. It needs to take things one step at a time. The enmity that propels Pakistan against India is not an enmity of convenience. It is based on principles. This is not a villain seizing some opportunities at random; rather, this is a doctrinaire villain that India faces. The goal of peaceful co-existence is laudable. But this goal can only be achieved if India protects itself to survive as an entity separate from Pakistan. This protection can only be achieved when India eliminates the ongoing terrorist threat from Pakistan, makes it give up its aggressive methods, and makes Pakistani actions unaffordably expensive for Pakistan. Till India imposes effective punishment on Pakistan for its terror tactics, it will keep on ratcheting up the pressure on India.

Once India ensures a peaceful Pakistan, then we can talk friendship. The third step of fighting an unrepentant, undefeated enemy can not be wished away. For that to happen, all of India must act like one against Pakistan. Sending mixed signals is dangerous. Clarity should start from the top. There is a grave need for our politicians to publicly identify Pakistan as an enemy. Identifying the enemy is not demonizing the enemy. We donít have to exhort our people to destroy Pakistan; just acknowledging the reality will be enough. Such acknowledgement will straighten our people and unite them. Effective action flows from clear thought. Acknowledging the Pakistani threat will enable us to deal with it. India must then synchronize its actions with the reality. India must enact and enforce laws that will prohibit the aiding and abetting of enemy.

India is a nation of a billion people, but we are repeatedly on the brink of disaster because we have forgotten to be assertive and to stand up for our rights. Our numbers and our high-tech prowess will count for nothing if India goes through another partition. We must change our all-accepting stance. If we keep letting the world drive us, we will end up totally eroded. Tiny blips like Yugoslavia, Palestinians and Taiwan fight to defend themselves. Had they depended solely on the world opinion, they would have been absorbed by their enemies. A just fight is a necessary evil. Our leaders have only been stressing on the evil part of it, forgetting that it has become necessary because the enemy is imposing it upon us. In the face of state-sponsored terrorism, our policy is that of a meek, diseased person waiting for the world to come to his deliverance. Indians should rise up against this continued inaction.