Sunday, 17 April 2011

Defeatist Attitude In the Ruling Party

An Article appearing on page-14 of Times Of India Lucknow edition today(17th April 2011) is written by Mr Shashi Tharoor. It is an article which tell very clearly of the defeatist attitude of the current Indian Government(I will desist from being political).

In his article he praises Dr Manmohan Singh for his visionary leadership and the great leap of faith he took at Mohali. My interest was aroused as to what are the arguments this very esteemed(in some circles) author will give in favor of  Cricket Diplomacy.

I read the article twice and could not find one word or one logical argument worth mentioning. Mr Tharoor firstly argues that our policy of  Not Talking to Pakistan ...I quote "had passed it sell by date value". Our arrogance and intransigent attitude made us look bad and Pakistan as a very mature government.

He further goes on to say that India wants only development and thus we are already at a disadvantage because Pakistan wants war. It makes our position weak and in his word I quote India is at the bottom, a status quo power that would like to be left alone to concentrate on its economic development.

His third argument is that we can talk about Siachen and sir-creek while leaving out Kashmir and militancy for a later date or era .Because Pakistan is not ready to discuss either of the issues in a diplomatic way. It rather uses its army and ISI to keep up the pressure on India.

Now lets look at the few points he has made in his article. The first and foremost if our policy of isolating Pakistan was not bearing fruit we could have changed tacts and pressurized Pakistan militarily, covertly and economically. Forcing them to either do something stupid like Kargil thereby giving us the opportunity to take punitive actions or it would have made at best Pakistan economy go bankrupt and at worst the whole Pakistan implode. Why is it we shy away from other means to punish Pakistan and what is the reason for Mr Tharoor's abject surrender to Pakistan.

Lastly on this point we looked bad or arrogant in the eyes of whom. Israelis look bad in the eyes of many yet they do what is necessary. China looks like  a demon to many but does it make any difference to it and does it stop China from following its own policy. USA itself is not supported by many on its war but did it stop them. The really strong nations force people either to support them or look away, whether they like it or not. Do we give up our national honor and interest to be given a pat on the back by Obama? do we need a certificate from London or we wont get invited in the next Whitehouse dinner? So Mr Tharoors argument stinks of colonial mentality which defines India only by what the white masters thinks of it. My suggestion to Mr Tharoor is to grow up, he is no longer in the UN but in India he should look after our interst and worry less of what the UN/US/EU thinks about us.

Second point he raises is the worst strategic point of view I have heard, if we are peace loving nation thus it necessary means we cannot fight or we cannot go to war to safe-guard our national interest. Where is it written that being peace loving means laying down arms. By telling the word that armed conflict is not an option we are going into a battle with our eyes shut and hands cuffed .

If we push hard not only Pakistan but US strategy will start coming of the seam. The US strategy of using Pakistan as its errand boy on the Afghan border works on the assumption that Indian army will be kept away from the Pakistani borders. Just imagine if the 200,000 Pakistani soldiers on guard duty on Af-Pak border are removed and the Pakistani Army in Baluchistan is forced to move out to counter Indian threat, the whole edifice of USA's war on terrorism will come down like a pack of cards.

Not only that USA needs a stable India for economic reasons too if something goes wrong here the financial aftershocks will be felt in Washington and Europe thus it is in the interest of USA to keep India happy. Keeping that in mind India can use its military as an offensive weapon as well as a weapon of diplomacy. By telling the world that we will not fight is like surrendering to the enemy without a single bullet being fired.

Lastly Mr Tharoor's argument about Siachen etc and skirting around issues like Kashmir and Terrorism may sound reasonable but are completely flawed at a strategic level. Siachen is not something that can be easily negotiated with an enemy country with whom war may be eminent or who can take advantage of your strategic weakness any day.(remember Kargil,Operation Grand Slam), so Siachen and other issues are linked to the central issue of Pakistan bleeding India or fighting an invisible war. Unless we win that war or Pakistan stops its policy of terrorism any dialogue we have with them will end up at Kargil, Parliament, Mumbai or Srinagar.

We must realize the fact that it is Pakistan's policy to talk in forked tongues while Mr Gilani plays the good cop in the background is the most anti-India general in the form of Kayani and ISI head Pasha. Whom are we talking to and what are we talking about. When the government of Paksitan has no control over the policies followed by ISI and the Pak-Army then our talks will lead to no-where. On Pakistani side it is a great tactics of buying time until China and Pakistan is ready for the next military mis-adventure.

I guess Mr Tharoor should stick to Kochi tuskers of IPL and managing the finances of his wife because strategy is not his strongest forte. is it?