Thursday, May 21, 2009

Change the game, border edition

Nitin Pai and Sushant Singh argue for pulling the army away from the borders so that Pkstn can "fight" the Taliban. Though this sounds like changing the game, actually it is not.

As I had argued before on the Acorn, this is a patently bad idea. The enemy wants us to move the army, so that instead of ostensibly "fighting us" it can fight their own creation. As far as I know, we haven't fought on Indias provocation for a long time now. Whatever fights we have had in the recently longish past are mostly retaliations and we have stopped doing that too for a while.

For years now, we have had a ceasefire and yet only party has violated the ceasefire, aided infiltration. India, on the other hand even after the 26/11 massacre has kept quiet. The threat from India has not materialized - be it in Kargil when they pretty much occupied areas within India, be it when they attacked the Parliament or 26/11. So, the threat of India is an empty threat at best. On the other hand Pkstns mischief in India (directly attributable, indirect, plausble denial, via Nepal, with help from China) has only increased day by day.

Moving the army from the border will only let Pkstn dictate terms. Each centimetre that the army moves forward at any point of time in the future will become a "threat" and "distraction".

Our diplomatic capability is non-existent, as has been proved post 26/11. Until India is able to move more diplomatic muscle, this is a pointless exercise. Diplomatic muscle includes choking the flow of fungible aid, arm twisting defence suppliers and to a certain extent, managing China and presently none of this is happening.

Changing the game with Pkstn means moving away from our present policy of showing the other cheek and running to big brother each time.

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