Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Uri aftermath

On 18/9/2016 there was an attack on Indian soldiers at Uri resulting in 17 deaths that day and one more death next day. Most have called this attack a terrorist act and referred to 18 dead soldiers as martyrs. Some have said this is an act of war and not fair to call dead soldiers martyrs. As per most reports most soldiers died because the tents they were sleeping in caught fire. The four attackers were shot dead.
Pakistan denied it was behind the attack and said it was due to the unrest in Kashmir. Nawaz Sharif spoke about Kashmir when he addressed UN General Assembly. He compared Kashmir unrest to Intifada. India’s First Secretary responded by saying Pakistan is home to Ivy League of terrorism. Sushma Swaraj addressed UN General Assembly on 26/9/2016.
In India it is said about positions of political parties that where you stand depends on where you sit. That was the case this time also. When BJP was in opposition it wanted tough action against Pakistan when attacks took place. Narendra Modi spoke of 56 inch chest. Congress was measured in its response. Now BJP is in power and the response is measured while Congress wants tough action against Pakistan. Congress called Modi government the weakest government India had.
Different people have suggested different things about what should be India’s response to Pakistan. These include diplomatic isolation of Pakistan, sanctions against Pakistan, supporting Balochistan separatists, and stopping flow of Indus water. Some have suggested covert actions with deniability.
Diplomatic isolation of Pakistan is not easy. It has to start with India shutting down its High Commission and Deputy High Commission in Pakistan. Not many countries will be with India. USA and China will continue to deal with Pakistan.
Sanctions against Pakistan will mean end of trade and cultural and sports ties with Pakistan. It will affect both sides. There will be loss of business for India. Indian films will be banned in Pakistan.
Supporting Balochistan separatists can weaken Pakistan. Giving asylum to Brahudagh Bugti is part of that plan. India has to do it alone. China has an interest in Balochistan remaining part of Pakistan. Other countries will not support Balochistan separation.
Stopping flow of Indus water is easier said than done. India does not have dam capacity to hold Indus water. It will take years to build dams to hold water. Pakistani missiles and rockets can attack dams.
Covert actions with deniability mean terrorist acts. These are meant to deter Pakistan. India had agents who could carry out retaliatory terrorist acts. Inder Kumar Gujral put an end to those acts. After Manohar Parrikar became Defence Minister there was talk of having such agents who are referred to as assets. It was said it will take five years to put them in place. It is close to two years now. If India carries out retaliatory terrorist acts, it will hurt Pakistan in equal measure.
India has to fight its war alone. India should not expect help from USA because it assists terrorists in Syria and calls them freedom fighters. India’s TV channels should not call people who blame India and say attacks were a conspiracy. The situation in Kashmir has to be under control. Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed has proved to be incompetent Chief Minister. Perks and security to Kashmiri separatist leaders should stop.
In Pakistan army controls the government. Pakistan claims it has no control over terrorists who are non-state actors. Terrorists who attack India are abetted by Pak army and ISI and are not non-state actors. Killing Indian soldiers is an act of war. India should respond accordingly.

Updated: September 29, 2016 — 7:50 am

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