Indo-Pak ties: We smile, they attack

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 09, 2013 11:18 hrs

So India invited the Pakistani cricket team in good faith and after the series ended, Pakistan paid us back by entering Indian territory and brutally killing two of our soldiers. What is new? Whenever we talk peace and smile at them, Pakistan perceives it as a sign of our weakness and attacks us in some form or the other.

No matter how much we want peace with Pakistan, we cannot run away from certain ground realities of our ties with them…

1. Pakistan says that Kashmir is theirs

The k in the word Pakistan stands for Kashmir. That’s quite a difficult thing to let go. From 1947 to 2013, Pakistan keeps insisting that the entire state of Kashmir is rightfully a part of Pakistan. How do you reconcile with such a huge fact? The truth is you can’t. Till Pakistan lays off Kashmir, there is absolutely no use in talking peace with them, holding summits or inviting their leaders to try to broker peace.

2. 16 years is the highest time there has been no conflict

The 1948 Kashmir War. The 1965 Rann of Kutch conflict. The 1965 Indo-Pak War. The 1971 Bangladesh War. The 1984 Siachen conflict. The 1999 Kargil War. The truth is that we have never been at peace with Pakistan for a period longer than 16 years.

If you count the militancy in Kashmir, then we have been at war with them continuously for more than two decades.

In fact, we haven’t had a war with them for close to 14 years now, which is perilously stretching our peace limit with them. It’s better to be on our guard at this stage rather than talk peace.

3. They’ll never forgive us for Bangladesh even though it was their fault

The birth of India and Pakistan led to the killing of millions of Indians and Pakistanis. Partition is a thing which would never ever be forgotten by people who witnessed it. But after 65 years of Independence there are very few people left who have witnessed the Partition killings.

One would have thought that the wounds would have healed by now.

However, 1971 changed everything. West Pakistan unleashed a reign of terror on East Pakistan and India was flooded with refugees. We had no choice to intervene and liberate Bangladesh.

However if Pakistan earlier blamed us for the loss of Kashmir, they now doubly blamed us for the loss of East Pakistan too. One such survivor of the war later went on to unleash the Kargil War on us and his name is General Pervez Musharraf.

It’s a vicious cycle now.

4. The government supports terror groups

Terror groups. The Taliban. The ISI. The Army. The Government.

They are all linked in Pakistan. The link may be direct or indirect and the government may support the terror groups by simply not taking action against them. The end result is that the Pakistani government have been fighting a proxy war against India for decades now.

There is no point in our holding talks with them till this proxy war ends.

5. They believe nukes give them parity

It’s all a question of belief and attitude. Pakistan does not measure up to India in any way. Our Army, Navy and Air Force all are far superior to them. We are a much larger country. After the liberalization of 1991, the economic disparity has only increased.

There is no way that Pakistan can win a war with India. However their nukes have given them a false sense of parity and they believe they are actually equal to India. Their lop-sided attitude is a big downer in holding meaningful talks.

6. Whenever we talk peace, they think war

We honoured all the rules of Partition and did not withhold funds from the newly created Pakistan. In return, they attacked Kashmir. In 1965, Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri brokered a very magnanimous Rann of Kutch peace. They attacked us in the very same year.

After becoming Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee went out of his way to broker peace with Pakistan. They gave us the Kargil War.

The truth is that whenever we talk peace, they plot war. The latest example is their dastardly cross-border killing of Indian soldiers when we had very graciously agreed to host their cricket team.

It makes better sense to never talk peace and be on our guard against Pakistan at all times.

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The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger.

He blogs at