Pakistan is treachery personified
By Sant Kumar Sharma
The pledge to beat Pakistan’s treacherous behaviour that manifested itself in Kargil heights two decades ago. It pitted Northern Light Infantry (NLI) troops against the Indian armed forces.
These troops were mainly Shias from Gilgit and Baltistan. They were left to die without the enemy even owning them up. Pakistan refused to even take back bodies of dozens of these men.
At the beginning of 1999, India was extending the hand of friendship towards Pakistan, forgiving it’s behaviour of the past. And it backstabbed India by planning the Kargil intrusions.
The Indian leadership started the Lahore bus under Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistan foisted Kargil on us. It was repelled in due course of time but at a heavy price as 527 bravehearts of India were martyred. Another 1,313 were wounded.
It was the unmatched valour of the young Indian soldiers which won the areas occupied by Pakistan by deceit. The young soldiers and young officers of several infantry regiments gave a very outstanding account of themselves.
In July 2019, two decades later, it seems that Pakistan is taking some steps against terrorists it harbours in the country. The arrest of global terrorists like Hafiz Saeed are gestures less than skin deep. It is perhaps the 7th time the arrest drama is being enacted.
No need to trust Pakistan for making these small tactical moves. These are easily reversible and have no value at the strategic level. We in India have no reason to believe in the sincerity of these steps.
Why? It is not just a distrust born of hatred. it is born because of Pakistan’s behaviour of treachery displayed time and again. It is something that the western neighbour has taught us by giving repeat lessons.
Whenever we trusted it, we got betrayed. So, distrust for it should be an innate feeling in Indians. Of whatever persuasions politically.
All acts like Hafiz’s arrest and closing down of terror schools are aimed at trying to escape being blacklisted by FATF (Financial Action Task Force) in October. They are entirely cosmetic and of no value to us as of now. The FATF is watching Pakistan and the progress on 27 steps it had suggested is the yardstick to escape possible blacklisting.
We have been watching its repeated betrayals for decades. We will be perfectly right in keeping aloof from it for a year or so. It is only its actions over the next 18 months which can be indicative of any change, or changes, if at all.
Picking up a shorter time-frame can be very dangerous and not worthwhile at all. Its conduct in Afghanistan, during the US presidential elections and backing of terrorists are various yardsticks we need to keep in mind.
Being always prepared for war is one sure way of dealing with Pakistan. Incidentally, its nuclear bluff is beneath contempt. Once it brings nuclear weapons into battle equations, there is no reason to hold back and not use an overwhelming response in kind.
Our policy of an aggressive posture is something that afflicts huge costs on it, and must be continued relentlessly in the foreseeable future. Lowering down the guards is no option and delusional.