War will not lead Pakistan anywhere

India has used strong words to warn Pakistan on its undiminished cross-border attacks in violation of their ceasefire. This week has seen the worst violence in over a decade at the border in Kashmir. India is a responsible state. India never uses aggression, but at the same time it has a principal duty to defend its people and its territory. Our armed forces, particularly the Army and the BSF (Border Security Force) in this case, have only one option and that is to respond satisfactorily and defend our territory and our people. There was lots of outrage on TV debates and also on social network against Modi for not appointing full time Defence Minister. Arun Jaitley is unwell for long time and on Wednesday he was discharged from the hospital. He is handling defense ministry as a part time as he is also a Finance Minister. Anyway, finally government went little harsh on Pakistan after so much of outrage.

Mahatma Gandhi taught us important lessons like true sources of political lawfulness, how to recognise them. The world has been witnessing the total disaster of handling the devastating floods in Jammu and Kashmir. Instead of any help or improving the situation, Pakistan is making it from bad to worse. The government has not been able to provide even a hint of civic normalcy. It becomes clear that the real crisis in the valley is a crisis of political legitimacy. It is very sad to learn and to watch news on how Kashmiris are let down and their suffering continuous. The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), imposed in 1958 in all so-called “disturbed areas” of India, provides the army and paramilitaries with almost total impunity, enabling them to arrest people without a warrant and on mere suspicion of their planning a terrorist act and allowing the security forces to “fire upon or otherwise use force even to the causing of death”.

AFSPA has been condemned by the UN as a law that has “no place in a democracy”. One may ask, when will this nightmare end for the people of Kashmir? Will the repressive laws they face be revoked? Will they be allowed to live with full dignity, security and assured livelihood? When will Kashmiri Pandits be also rehabilitated? Pakistan has violated the ceasefire agreement numerous times in the past, but the Defence Minister’s remark that “ground reality has changed in India” and Indian armed forces are “fully ready” in the aftermath of Pakistani firing and mortar shelling on the LoC in Kashmir that killed five civilians should be interpreted to mean that India is closely watching the situation and will not hesitate to retaliate in a befitting manner when faced with such ceasefire violations. It’s a refreshing and a bold statement that has come from the Indian defence minister after a long time…

Manifestations of a grotesque concept that Hindus and Muslims cannot coexist in one nation gave birth to Pakistan. These conflicts will continue even after the inconceivable event of India gifting Kashmir to Pakistan on a platter. The worst part of the tragedy is the loss of civilian lives on both sides. Political and military leaders of the two sides must be blamed for such occurrences as they never showed seriousness in resolving the outspreading disputes between the two countries. While India is investing millions of dollars on security in its occupied Kashmir, Pakistan is giving free hand to militants in its occupied territory in the Himalayan region to do whatever they could to engage New Delhi. What is needed at this moment for the leadership of the two countries is to engage in a constructive dialogue and not in a dialogue for dialogue’s sake.

Pakistan has always perceived India as a soft nation. Pulling back from territory captured in 65 and 71 Wars, sending back over 90,000 POWs without getting all our POWs back and such like actions have firmed up their belief of India being soft. For good relations, this perception has to be changed. Pakistan must be dealt with firmly. We have to learn that our goodness after 48, 65 and 71 Wars had no positive outcome in our relations. Firm and tough handling only is likely to yield positive results. An Indo-Pakistan war at this juncture will only benefit the Chinese plan to take control of Gilgit-Baltistan and to encircle India with the strategic alliance of Pakistan. Space of the US block has shrunken in the disputed area of Kashmir. War will further affect it. This is detrimental to Indian interest. While West demands referendum in Kashmir, other parties to the conflict, namely Pakistan and China, have chosen the military option. India still has maneuvering space to put politics before military. India should take all the necessary steps to prevent pushing Pakistan towards China. China is in a position to give all necessary logistical support to Pakistan to control strategic territories in Kashmir including Siachen glacier. Both India and Pakistan should stop wasting valuable human and financial resources on never-ending squabbles over LoC. It’s high time to get pragmatic and follow some sensible real politics for mutual benefit, and not for certain ill-wishing third-parties. Pakistan knows it very well that India is moving fast on the path of development due to stable government, so they want to divert the attention of government from development to war.

Popular sentiments across both sides of the border will never allow each of the neighbours to loosen its position. Neither can a popular government in Pakistan dare to accept Indian position on Kashmir nor any Indian government can accede Pakistan’s demand. While, the Indian side claims a civilian casualty in Indian side of the border, so does the Pakistani side of their area. A way-out from here on seems impossible if both nations don’t engage in the process of dialogue. Both nations are armed with nuclear weapon; these skirmishes can lay a solid ground for a full-fledged war. War never helps any nation. India should definitely look for kick starting a process of dialogue, because it will be good for India. Pakistan is already in the middle of a mess, while India is on the path of progress and economic growth. A war will cause more damage to Indian prospects than Pakistan.