Friday, December 05, 2008

India's unfinished business with Pakistan

India was supposed to be an idea - a final destination for many a weary traveler seeking an enlightening unknown and for many others a final frontier queer enough to conquer, loot and crush. To think about the world's most populous democracy and emerging economy in medieval light seemed totally out of place in times of globalization, until a week ago.

Terrorists emerged from the gateway of India to inflict untold pain on the psyche of an ancient India decked in new age garb. It could've been Ghazni's mercenaries cutting through Khyber pass on their way to a million savageries no matter how many times they had been rebuffed and magnanimously offered their lives back. They return with greater brutality, wilier deception and a malicious smile at the weakness of their opponent.

Centuries have hard wired the orgasmic passion for violence on the wild things and their offspring who lived westwards of Khyber. Ever since Genghis Khan legitimized the philosophy of kill to live, central Asia was nothing but killing fields for the organized mercenaries. Islam has tagged itself on to it later as merely a context to vanquish the other a.k.a infidels. India was always the final frontier for the motivated. Unfortunately it still is the same.

Even after repeated defeats in wars and proxy wars at the hands of a democratic India, even after the country had been split into two, even after world's rapt attention on the failure of their own state, Pakistanis are in a perpetual denial of reality. The abyss shown by Pakistan's forerunner, Afghanistan was never enough for the plotters in that country to doubt what destiny has in store. For them this is supposed to be a small phase, in fact an insignificant price to pay for the greater and purer Pakistan notwithstanding what they are up against. During nineties they were executing their plans meticulously with an insipid secular Congress government in power, belligerent but wayward right wingers in opposition, China in tow, splintered Soviet union and an indifferent U.S.A run by big mouth liberals from the left.

Kargil war was supposed to be the beginning of the end. It was, but in a direction that wasn’t anticipated. World events, pivoting around America's war on terror, realignment of "rogue" elements with Al-Qaeda and Palestine's political obliteration led the international attention eventually towards Pakistan. Iraq war has been nothing but Bush's miscalculation and a distraction.

The raison de'etre for Pakistani Army is its unfinished business with India. They antagonized and bled India in every available opportunity. They experimented with democracy and international institutions (major supplier of soldiers to U.N peace keeping missions) to thwart Indian diplomatic efforts, aligned military institutions including ISI with Jehadists who had no regional ambitions to challenge India with frugal resources. However the global war on terror, while Jehadis looking to usurp power and Taliban on the run complicated the equations.

Thus it's become an unfinished business of India to dismantle Pakistani terror camps, cut down the Pakistani monolith - Armed forces and destroy their borrowed/stolen nukes.

Saving the World!

It came about in this way. During the children's revolt of the sixties and the seventies, I was just old enough to understand what t...