After the audacious attack on Pathankot Air Force Station by the Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed, one cannot help but thinking that (forget talks) why can't we unilaterally snap 100% links with Pakistan?
What if we recalled all our citizens and then decided to shut down all their embassies and consulates? Here's the thing. Our enemy would really feel the heat while India could continue with business as usual.
Here's the why and how of that rationale...
One. The whole world keeps pushing for Indo-Pak talks. But who feels the pressure more? Of course, Pakistan! India is a sovereign country which never really had to listen to any other power.
That is not the case with Pakistan. It is totally dependent on America for billions and billions of dollars of arms and aid. They have to keep proving to their willingness for peace to America as most of the money has to be cleared by US Congress and Senate.
Every time we have talks with Pakistan, it gives them legitimacy and helps them in pushing their case with America and the rest of the world. As a result of every round of talks and escalating of ties, they have much to gain and we get nothing. So if you gain nothing out of doing something and your enemy gains every time, then why do you keep doing it?
Two, it's the economy stupid! Did you know that despite our ties being dismal, we are still among Pakistan's Top 10 trading partners? In fact when you look at Bhutan and Nepal, then both their imports and exports with India outweigh that of all other countries of the world combined!
Pakistan would also be similarly dependent if we had an excellent rapport with them. They need us more than we need them. In fact Pakistan is not even among our Top 20 trading partners and with the way India is currently engaging with the world, they will be pushed even further down the table.
Thirdly, whatever links we have with Pakistan seem to help the bad elements in Pakistan more. Our enemy country has dozens of terrorist groups, dozens of charity fronts that help terror and the mother of them all being the shadowy spy agency ISI.
Indo-Pak links help all these anti-India groups send across money and manpower to create trouble in India. It's not just blasts but anti-India propaganda too. A boycott will go a great deal in preventing dubious funds and dubious people from entering India.
Fourthly, the domestic pressure on the Pakistan government is greater than that of India. Pakistan was born with an anti-India identity and their foreign policy and sense of victimization revolves around India. We always play straight into their arms.
In contrast Pakistan is a very small part of the Indian's psyche. When we don't feel the pressure, but they do, why should we release the pressure that has been built up on our enemy?
Fifthly, what's the point of proving that Pakistan had a hand in x, y and z terrorist attack all the time when they squarely deny it? In all these attacks, Pakistani citizens die; Pakistani identity cards, passports and SIM cards are found.
Our enemy country even refuses to accept its own dead soldiers! We have been banging our head against a brick wall since 1947. In such a situation it is the head that gets injured and not the brick wall.
Finally, with all this out of the way, we can simply concentrate on securing our borders and beefing up our internal security. The BSF has started using sand scooters to survey the Rajasthan borders.
We are securing a huge number of drones for border surveillance. Things have really changed in the last 1-2 years, but it will come to nought if you keep letting your guard down to entertain Pakistan diplomatically.
If there is no Indo-Pak cricket, then they suffer and we don't. Bollywood is a huge hit in Pakistan. West Asia and Pakistan seem more keep on the proposed gas pipeline than us. It is always our enemy which is more anxious to do business with us.
In fact we should just play the waiting game. Pakistan failed to secure the Kashmir Valley in 1947. They lost East Pakistan in 1971. The War in North Waziristan is bleeding it. There is unrest in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Balochistan Independence is gaining ground.
Our enemy is imploding. We should just step back and watch all the fun.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NSA Ajit Doval were doing an excellent policy of isolating Pakistan and engaging with the rest of the world. It was working. For 18 months India looked on the ascendant.
Then one brief stopover by Modi in Lahore and the repercussions were felt in Pathankot.
This is not the first time such a thing has happened. Our loss in the 1962 China war led to an attack in Pakistan. The then Prime Minister AB Vajpayee's diplomatic overtures led to the Kargil War. Whenever we reach out a hand in friendship, they use their hand to stab us in the back.
That's been the story of the last 68 years.
We can't make Pakistan change and they will never change on their own.
We can, however!
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The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger. He blogs here