Let's stop talking peace with Pakistan

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 10, 2013 06:15 hrs

Backpfeifengesicht: the German word for "a face badly in need of a fist."

That face belongs to the Pakistani psychopaths who crossed the LoC Tuesday afternoon and attacked and killed two soldiers, beheading one of them before running away like cowardly swine with the head as a ‘trophy.”

To add insult to injury, a Pakistani official was quoted as saying that such skirmishes were ‘routine’ and would have no impact on the peace talks between the two nations.

The tragedy is, the official is probably right.

The tragedy is that each such incident, where Pakistan commits unspeakable atrocities at will against Indian soldiers (and civilians) without fear of reprisal, only reinforces the Pakistani -- and international -- notion that India is a weak nation, which always blinks first.

The tragedy is, soldiers of the 29 Baloch regiment,  accused of the latest atrocity, are swaggering around with our soldier’s head, while our own forces can only bow their heads in frustrated anger, knowing that our politicians will never allow them to avenge their honour, and prefer instead to turn the other cheek.

After all, if our leaders stood down lamely after mobilizing our forces following the attack on our Parliament, can we really expect them to give a damn for a couple of brutalized soldiers?

Forget our spineless politicians. How many of us are actually demanding action against this atrocity? How many of us protested at Janpath, or took to the streets to put pressure on the government, like we did for the recent rape aboard a Delhi school bus?

The tragedy is, even a so called hard-line government like the NDA failed to do anything to ensure that Pakistan was put in its place, releasing instead three dreaded terrorists in exchange for the passengers aboard a hijacked Indian Airlines plane parked in Kandahar.

Those terrorist swine, who now roam freely and insolently in Pakistan, have been responsible for the death of far more Indians than the passengers aboard the hijacked plane.  

The tragedy is that we have never had the will or the cojones to punish Pakistan for its repeated and continuous acts of  terror against India.  

Forget Pakistan, I still shudder when I recall pictures of BSF soldiers killed during a 2001 border clash with Bangladesh being returned to India tied to poles like animals. Our external affairs ministry, in its wisdom, later described the clash as 'local adventurism,' thereby absolving Dhaka of any guilt.

'Naming and shaming'  Pakistan for this latest atrocity, as our opposition is demanding, will not work because Pakistan has consistently proved how shameless it can be.

Summoning their high commission to express outrage is another weak and futile act, as his smirk while exiting South Block clearly shows. It is also futile to run to the international community seeking solace and help, because they will –rightly—act only in their own national interests.

Just a few weeks ago, Pakistan’s adviser to the Prime Minister on interior affairs Rehman Malik had the temerity to blame the weather for the inhuman torture of captain Saurabh Kalia during the Kargil War. Instead of booting him unceremoniously out of our country, we welcomed the Pakistani cricket team to come here and defeat us.

I have long argued that talking peace with Pakistan is worse than casting pearls before swine, because its very existence is predicated on being anti-India. It’s been barely 60 odd years since it was a part of India, and it takes a lot more than that to get over being ‘non-Indian’.     

Yes, it is true that like relatives, you cannot choose your neighbours. And while in an ideal world loving your neighbour makes perfect sense, it is suicidal if your neighbour happens to be Pakistan.

So, let’s take it from the top. More than 60 years of turning the other cheek have only made our neighbour more brazen in its attempts to cut us down to size. The repeated peace talks have had minimal results, if at all, and delinking the talks from terror has only emboldened the terrorist swine.  

For more than 60 years, we’ve been indulging in this danse macabre, with Pakistan leading.

Be it Kashmir or Siachen, Sir Creek or Kargil, it is Pakistan that sets the agenda. Even the partition of Pakistan in 1971, the only clear victory we have won against the country, turned out to be a joke because we released 90,000 prisoners of war without getting a concrete, negotiated settlement on Kashmir, or anything else for that matter. It is still Pakistan which keeps offering ‘solutions’ on Kashmir, all of which involve ‘concessions’ from India.  

It is time we tried something different. It is time we wrested the initiative. It’s time to take off the kid gloves.

For starters, let us give up this hypocritical attempt at peace. The Pakistani military and the mad Mullahs have always interpreted every attempt as a weakness on our part, and unleashed even more nastiness.

Second, let us give Islamabad a firm, non-negotiable deadline to act against the terrorist swine who planned 26/11 and other cowardly attacks on Indian soil. And let us be very clear that if that deadline is violated, we will sever all ties with Pakistan, aman ki asha be damned.  

Three, let us build the capability to covertly counter every future attack on Indian soil with a equally brutal one, and use it ruthlessly. Let us give our forces a chance to avenge the murder and mutilation of their colleagues. Let’s ensure that Rawalpindi knows that each and every terrorist act will cost it dearly. If the face needs a fist, let’s introduce the two.

For a change, let Pakistan run to the International community whining about Indian acts of aggression, while we sit back and smugly deny, or plead helplessness by blaming  “non-state actors.”  

Four, let us aggressively counter each Pakistan proposal on Kashmir with some of our own, -- like the Neelam Plan -- which look at our, not Pakistani interests.

Five, let us constantly remind Pakistan that we control the headwaters of the main rivers that flow into their country, and regularly threaten to ‘re-negotiate’ the Indus Waters Treaty.

Six, let us elect leaders with the cojones to actually do the above.

Until then, let us treat  Pakistan as it should be: like a Backpfeifengesicht.

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Ramananda Sengupta is a senior editor and strategic analyst

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