Posts Tagged ‘Kargil’


I am happy that I was proved wrong, at least on one count. I had said to my friends that India would not carry out surgical strikes against Pakistan because of US and Chinese pressure.

What happened today across the Line of Control (LoC) may not have been war, but to Indians, at least those who believe in the Indian nation, and not those who think Pakistan is their homeland, it has been a cathartic experience and as good as a victory in war. It was virtually a case of crossing the Laxman Rekha to avenge the deaths of the countless soldiers and innocent civilians who had lost their lives in Jammu and Kashmir and around the country in terrorist attacks, bomb blasts. The imaginary line was finally breached, all thanks to this government and our brave soldiers.

Even in 1999 during the Kargil war, Indians seethed when Atal Bihari Vajpayee told then US president Bill Clinton that the Indian forces would not cross the LoC. Since then, Indians have lived with a sense of helplessness as Pakistan continued to send in terrorists, weapons, fake currency and drugs with impunity and the Indian Army could not cross the LoC and could not target terrorist training camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), because of ‘international’ (read USA) pressure. Worse, our hands were tied by some countries who were worried about their interests in Pakistan, and a fear that things could spiral out of control because Pakistan was as good as a rogue nuclear state. The question they need to ask is “who made them a rogue state?” Not India definitely.

But in the last couple of years even the Americans were fed up with the Pakistanis, who they believed was an ally in their so-called war on terror. The Pakistanis had started to behave as if they were now a law unto themselves. Secondly, every terror attack anywhere in the world somehow had a Pakistani link. I guess even in the US the mood against the Pakistanis was turning and they were now being viewed as a global terror hub and a nation of double-crossers, who were taking the money the Americans were giving them and using it to fund acts of terror against its neighbours, especially India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

But coming to this surgical strike itself, the elation and relief one feels cannot be explained. The Loc that stood like some foreboding hoodoo that we were afraid to cross holds no fears for the Indian forces anymore. The message India has sent out is that if the need arises the army will do it again.

What is interesting is that the two countries India was worried about have so far been completely silent on the surgical strikes. The Americans have said nothing and the Chinese have asked India and Pakistan to scale down the tension. But after this incident even they will be forced to accept that after the Uri killings the Indian establishment had finally lost its patience. That lack of confidence of the Chinese in the Pakistani establishment in this incident must have shaken the latter the most, and now they are busy falling over each other to contradict themselves. Have fun, people.

Which begs the question, why didn’t the earlier Indian governments have the courage to do what Narendra Modi’s government did today? I think, besides Indira Gandhi, the rest were stuck in some sort of time warp, a desire to avoid war at all costs, and a psychological fear that a desperate Pakistan could use their nuclear weapons. There is another reason much bigger than all these that politicians feared – losing the next election and losing their vote bank.

Well, I am glad Mr Modi had no such compulsions. Some of the voters and liberals, with their misplaced sense of self-righteousness and outrage (over something that happened 16 years, and for which no court in the land has held Mr Modi responsible) would anyway not vote for him, but he was confident that a huge number of Indians were backing him, and they were looking to him to act against the Pakistanis in every and any way possible – militarily and diplomatically. And he did.


I wish that holding talks, peace marches and candlelight vigils at India Gate or the Wagah border could solve the problems between Indian and Pakistan. But since it can’t and never will, let’s get real.

Today at the South Asian Youth Peace Meet (SAYPM) at the Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication in Lavale, Chintamani Mahapatra, Chairman, Centre for Canada, US & Latin American Studies and Professor at the School of International Studies of Jawaharlal Nehru University, narrated a very interesting incident about the attitude of the members of a Pakistani delegation during a conference to discuss the problems between the two neighbours, held somewhere abroad.

During that conference, the Kargil fiasco erupted and the Pakistanis began to celebrate. Their mood would oscillate between fury and joy as they kept hearing about the developments. And these were people who were there for a peace meet!

One well known editor of a Pakistani newspaper came up to Mahapatra at the same conference, puffed up his chest and announced loudly, “Tell your government not to get too adventurous, Pakistan now has the bomb.”

Mahapatra reminded him that in the event of a nuclear war, lots of Indians might lose their lives, but looking at India’s population, millions will still survive. In Pakistan’s case, even that was doubtful! Incidentally, the conference was organised at Dr Mahapatra’s request, which goes to prove that good intentions, don’t mean much to the Pakistanis!

What I and, I’m sure, many others like me would like to know, is how a country, supposedly on the verge of bankruptcy half the time, and in the throes of anarchy, the other half of the time, can repeatedly tell its more powerful neighbour to F*** OFF, every time they are asked to arrest the people who plan terrorist attacks on Indian soil? My apologies for using the F word here, but there is really no other expression that fits so perfectly what the Pakistanis have been telling us to do for the past so many years.

See how the Pakistan Army hosts Hafeez Saeed at an Iftar, when they should, in reality be arresting him for his terrorist acts, or see the contempt with which the Pakistani foreign minister treats each dossier he receives from the Indian government. For that matter, see how easily Pervez Musharraf admits that the funds and weapons which were given by the US to fight the Taliban, were used against India. Even more ironical is A.Q. Khan stating that he had sold nuclear secrets to China, Iran and North Korea. Have you noticed any signs of surprise or outrage against any of these actions anywhere, except in India? I find it difficult to believe that the Americans didn’t know what Pakistan’s Dr. No was up to?

Take the case of Dawood Ibrahim. Indian Intelligence officials have given Pakistanis every single detail about the underworld don, but the Pakistanis simply junk it claiming that it’s not adequate. What else do they need – his underwear brand name?

Could the Pakistanis have done any of this without tacit backing of the Americans or Chinese? Don’t you find it strange that despite all the dirty tricks Pakistan indulges in, the US and Chinese continue to fund it? The Americans first castigate Pakistan for, “not doing enough” and then promptly send them a couple of billion dollars of funding to fight their “war on terror.”

A few days earlier, also at the SAYPM, well known reformist Asghar Ali Engineer, had me smiling when he said that wherever in the world there’s unrest and strife, there’s a US hand! A man after my own heart, this Mr Engineer!

The Indian sub-continent is becoming a very dangerous place, thanks to the Americans. They are running riot all over Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan and no one can do anything about it. Things are slowly and surely spiraling out of control and the weak-kneed Indian government is busy sending out dossiers to all and sundry or flying out its ministers to meet God (read Obama) and complain to him about our unfriendly neighbours.

Just because Mahatma Gandhi told us to show the other cheek, must we take it so literally?