By Antony Cony, Karkala
Mangaluru, Sep 30: Wait is finally over! No more knee-jerk reactions but fighting fire with fire. Pride of India, self-esteem of the army, voices of billion plus people; call of nation is firmly restored; India conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) on Thursday. “India was ready for any kind of contingency. Five terror launch pads destroyed by Army across LOC, Indian Army special Forces were para-dropped,” said Chief of Indian Army General Dalbir Singh Suhag.
While we call it as a terror attack, it almost looked like an act of war. According to media reports, infiltrations bids had increased to 94 till this September compared to 29 the corresponding period last year and attacks on security personnel have been more audacious. Blaming very often the non-state actors and producing a bulk of literature to indicate its direct or indirect involvement in the attack was a hopeless, futile and lengthy exercise. Many former members of the armed forces were seen indulging in rhetoric that verges on ‘jingoism’which referred to advocacy for the use of actual force than peaceful relations, in efforts to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests. Their patriotism is paid back.
In the past, India delivered a guarded response for each of the terror attacks because India has positioned herself as a responsible rising power. Our adversary can afford to support terror strikes because it has no such ambition but jeopardize or thwart our ambition of super power. India can’t imitate United States for it is a country that is an established power. India needs to carve out a place for itself before it can afford to take military gambles. At the end of the day, India has to ensure that the options it exercises particularly the military ones do not leave it worse off than before in terms of casualties and costs.
Repeated terror attacks and subsequent inaction by the Indian government against them looked as if the perpetrators and its backers had developed a psychological edge over India questioning themselves ‘Who cares them? Yes, we have done it and will do it again. What they can do? This was the clear question posed by the perpetrators to the Indian authorities.
All over now
All it is over now. Terrorists are on the receiving end since last night. Chronology of such major attacks from 1989 to 2016, are deadliest 12 out of them. "India wanted friendship, we got Pathankot and Uri: SushmaSwaraj censures Pak at UNGA.The timing of Uri attack was hardly an incidental but a carefully planned attack was timed to coincide with the debate in the UN General Assembly (featuring both Pakistan’s Prime Minister and India’s External Affairs Minister), thus helping pin world attention to an otherwise hardy annual event.
Narendra Modi- In Control
After the Uri attack, PM Modi had said that India will leave no stone unturned to isolate our ‘notorious neighbour’ in the world. The foremost issue before India at present is whether to sustain or disdain diplomatic relations with Pakistan at the existing level or not. As we understand it is our prelude that we can choose our friends but we cannot select our neighbours. Once diplomatic relations are broken, healing the rift will become still more difficult.
Stepping up its diplomatic offensive to isolate, India on Tuesday said that it would not take part in the upcoming South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Islamabad in November. By this PM Modi will evade his first official visit to Pakistan. Through this India wants to draw a point home that it is time for Pakistan to introspect, the kind of relationship it wants with the SAARC countries, summit need to be postponed now.
Taking the offensive right into the heart of Pakistan, India on Monday reviewed the Indus Water Treaty to explore possible ways to use its share of water of rivers flowing into Pakistan. “Blood and water cannot flow simultaneously,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday as he chaired a review meeting of 56-year-old Indus Water Treaty during which it was decided that India will "exploit to the maximum" the water of Pakistan-controlled rivers, including Jhelum, as per the water-sharing pact. The treaty signed in 1960 by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and then Pakistan President Ayub Khan allocates 80% of water from the six-river Indus water system to Pakistan. Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum form the Indus water system that flows from India to Pakistan.
India is, of course, in a position to engage in a ‘water war’ with Pakistan, to deprive Pakistan of water from the Indus river. This will make Pakistan seeking Water Pursuit with India. However, this would, although mean defaulting on India’s international obligations under the Indus Waters Treaty.
Last week India-Russia relationship moved from being 'special' to regular. As Russian troops landed in Pakistan for a two-week counter-terrorism joint exercise, the 'degree of separation' of the original strategic partners only increased, coming as it did in less than a week after the Uri terror strike. Timing of the joint counter-terrorism exercise is chosen considered as not an advantage to India but to prevent India carrying military offensive against Pakistan. On the contrary, China has said it will support Pakistan (?) in case any foreign aggression. .
No global initiatives
Globally none of other nations are seriously interested nor have shown their eagerness to intervene and make peace between India and Pakistan. Most countries are caught in their own domestic problems, particularly on the economy front, and are not likely to go beyond lip service. The countries that actually matter – China, US and Russia have vested interests, geopolitical and economic, in Pakistan and are fully aware of its character. So, by raising Baluchistan or human rights violations in PoK repeatedly in international forum, India would not be winning too many tactical points.
Two American lawmakers had introduced legislation in the US Congress to designate Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism to create setback to Islamabad ahead of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s speech before the UN General Assembly.The bill, H.R 6069 or the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act. The bill is largely symbolic considering the current Congress is now in its final days and only a small fraction of the thousands of bill become law in any case. But it is powerful expression of the mood among lawmakers increasingly agitated about Pakistan's ceaseless backing of terror groups. It is well known that USA has its world policy who is friend of all and enemy of none lest it can’t simply afford to remain for long as a super power or world police.
Peace on buck burner?
Is Peace in shambles on the back burner? It is a prerogative that to live in peace heart should not break into pieces. As provocations go one after another, this is as big as one can get it. Brazen attack on the infantry battalion at Uri in Baramulla district by armed militants, which claimed lives of 18 soldiers, stands out for its immediate flagrancy for no peace.
For peace, an early dividend for our PM Narendra Modi came to pass when Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited New Delhi for the inauguration. In his winning election campaign, Sharif had declared, “If India takes one step for good relations, Pakistan will take two. We even want to put an end to visa requirements between the two countries...We want peace with India.” Both South Asian leaders are pledged to resume a peace process that Sharif and then-Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had begun in 1999. Why then Sharif is posing a different posture now. In 1999 Sharif fell apart with the Military; lost his throne but now seems to have achieved concurrence with the Military not to lose his throne once again.
Opinions- All praise
It is interesting to read some of the below comments that I read soon after the Uri attack about PM, Modi. I believe, all these opinions must have motivated the government to retaliate more swiftly. However, after surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) yesterday, PM Modi, proved every one wrong.
Lt Gen Ranbir Singh
“I liked one action of Indira Gandhi that she took strong action against Pakistan in 1971. Similar strong action expecting this time. Indira Gandhi no more now. In case there is possibility of her coming back (imagination) out of fear even nuclear material of our adversary might grow weaker. I mean to say no one had the guts to question her will and courage.”
“Prior to the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Narendra Modi consistently counseled the Congress government to 'stop writing love letters to Pakistan'. Modiji used the oft-quoted rhetoric of '56-inch chest' as also 'bringing 10 heads back in lieu of one', besides asking the government to 'answer Pakistan in the language they understand'.
“Modiji is the first PM since Independence to get dead soldiers as gift by Pakistan. Congress could not achieve this feat in 60 years, Modiji did it in just 2.5 years. Guinness book of world record should record this. He has been proving nothing but a paper tiger”
“His foreign policy is a complete mess, from parachute jumping to Pakistan to celebrate the birthday of Nawaz Sharif, immediately after that Pathankot Attack and Now Uri Attack...”
“Present government had come into office promising strong action against Pakistan after accusing the United Progressive Alliance government of pusillanimity vis-à-vis the neighbour. The shoe is now on the other foot, and the wearer is since learning where the shoe pinches”
“It is a big test of diplomacy for Modi. I firmly believe Modi will come out with flying colors."
A young man from the Punjab province across the border lies in a hospital bed in suburban Andheri with a hole in his heart, awaiting its suitable replacement. To make it back alive, he'll need a pair of lungs as well. It is an unusual situation, for state based organ coordinator Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee or ZTCC has never had a foreign national on its list, let alone one from Pakistan, and least of all when militancy threatens to clog Track II diplomacy.
But the medical tourist, 24-yearold Mohammed Nisar, who flew to Mumbai from his hometown Lahore with his parents two months ago, is looking past all that. Just two days ago, his parents visited Haji Ali Dargah to make a wish that he gets the organs soon. Hope hostility at the border won’t stop our hospitality to the Punjabi boy in the land of our tranquility and brotherhood irrespective of bullets received, blood spilled over. By such act of goodwill let us only hope that these small bricks would build the house of peace and mutual respect in our neighborhood.
Finally, India’s surgical strike along LoC shows intent to act strongly against terrorists - daring, maturity and synergy of India. The surgical strikes are a shift from the first adopted peaceful retaliation stance of PM Narendra Modi. This surgical strike is merely the culmination of a concerted diplomatic and military initiative.
Narendra Modi government deserves plaudits for handling Uri aftermath carefully and successfully.