Tuesday, 20 August 2013

LOC Skirmishes What is the real story?

For the past few weeks India and Pakistan have been trading heavy fire on the Line of Control(LOC) yet nobody knows what are the actual reasons for Pakistan challenging India for a firing match which it knows it cannot win. It tried to instigate a reaction by beheading Indian soldiers and ambushing an Indian patrol.Why?
On the Indian side most citizens are up in arms for what is perceived as Government apathy towards the casualties and cold blooded murder of soldiers on LOC. There is a mob frenzy which seeks bloody retribution.
My question is a bit more involved than just joining the Pakistani's in a duel. Why would Pakistan escalate tensions on LOC for what purpose and why now?

Lets look at the simplistic answer,

  • Pakistanis are an evil race which lives, drinks and dreams of war with Indian republic.
  • Pakistan wants to push in more infiltrators under the cover of heavy firing.
  • Pakistan Government has lost control over its commander who are driven by jihadi mentality.
All these explanations though plausible are not probable. Let's look at point no 2 infiltrators are pushed through specific paths and firing or shelling there makes sense but this is more wide spread and acts by the Pakistani Border Action Team defies logic because they know this will push the lackadaisical Indian Government into taking action. So there must be a more sinister plot afoot.
As to point 3 as much we would like to believe it to be true and give Nawaz Sharif the PM of Pakistan a clean chit the pretext to that point isn't true. While Nawaz may not control Pakistani army to the full extent yet its rank and file haven't been infiltrated to a large extent as of now. General Kayani remains in full control of his armies thus it cannot be a renegade general performing these acts.
Therefore what is the point behind all this?
The answer may lie in many points and the Pakistanis may be trying to hedge their bets on multiple issues. We all know that the so called dove Nawaz Sharif has activated the dormant Kashmir Cell of the Pakistan Government as soon as he took oath of office. This cell's sole responsibility is to put Kashmir on the international forum and by overt or covert means force India to a discussion on Kashmir in UN or other places. His parties provincial government is bankrolling terrorist organisations responsible for countless attacks on Indian cities including Mumbai. Yet he talks of peace. What Nawaz Sharif has guessed and rightly so is the predisposition of Indian Government towards peace come what may and the romantic idea in PM Singhs mind that Nawaz Sharif and the people of Pakistan are basically a hostage of General Kayani. Thus they must do everything in its power to support Sharif against Kayani.
Keeping this in mind Pakistan wants to play good cop and bad cop routine by asking its military to kill as many Indian soldiers as it can and push infiltrators into India for jihad. If their guess is correct PM Singh will force the Indian military to give a token timid response to assuage the public. This will have two fold effect, firstly it will de-moralize the soldiers on the ground reducing their efficiency against the terrorist and make the international community jittery about a possible confrontation between nuclear powered nations. thirdly it will cement the theory in the minds of PM Singh and Foreign minister Khurshid of India that this is the handiwork of Kayani to embarrass poor helpless PM Sharif.
Due to the nervousness of International Community we have already seen noises being made by some western powers for talks between India and Pakistan while Mr Khurshid has categorically stated the Governments resolve to talk peace. They have successfully marginalized the Indian army into a glorified mall security guard. Emboldened the secessionist factions in India.
On the other hand if the Government of India thus react into doing something drastic then Pakistan will be ready for it and it will give excuse to China to jump into the fray. This is the ultimate goal of Pakistan is to involve China in Kashmir war thus paving the way for annexation of Kashmir to Pakistan.
Instead of joining Pakistan in a gunbattle India should escalate the war on fronts where Pakistan is weak and a decisive move by the Indians will cause huge losses. this will make Pakistans forked tongue strategy too costly to maintain. Indians should get rid of their romantic notions about the Pakistani people and their establishment. Just like one Gandhi does not make every Indian a saint in the same way one Pakistani singer does not make every one of them sufi mystics.