Need of the Hour for Pakistan
Alam rind
1/31/2013

 

Progress made towards bridging Indo-Pak relations manifested in shape of trade and visa agreements seems to be rolling back in the aftermath of Line of Control (LoC) skirmishes in Kashmir. These events started unfolding on 6th January 2013, when as a result of firing by Indian troops a Pakistani soldier embraced martyrdom. Natural and obvious course of action was to protest and launch complaint to the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). Just two days after this incident that is on 8th January, Indians claimed that their two soldiers were attacked and killed by Pakistani troops. They claimed that Pakistani troops instead of resorting exchange of fire crossed into Indian territory killed two soldiers in thick forest and beheaded one of them. If it was so, it certainly was an act of unacceptable brutality. But is Indian Army so naive, vulnerable and unprofessional or such a weak and self-embarrassing story was cooked up to cover atrocities committed two days earlier. Indian Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the issue. After the meeting, Indian Defense Minister A. K. Antony said, “We are certainly not going to internationalize the issue or allow the United Nations to hold an enquiry. That demand is obviously rejected out of hand.” Their refusal of probe by UN raises serious doubts about the credibility of their story and their intentions.

Their intention is getting obvious by the hype created by their media and the statements made by no less than Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh and their Prime Minister himself. General Bikram Singh while addressing a press conference on January 14, said, “The orders are very clear: when provoked, I expect my unit commanders should fire back.” He also said, “We expect our commanders to be aggressive.” Such provocative public statements won’t help in defusing the situation. The real disappointment came from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when on January 15, while responding to a question on the issue, he said, “After this barbaric act, there cannot be business as usual with Pakistan. What happened at LoC is unacceptable.” The effects of his statement became evident when Indians refused to stam visas to senior citizens from Pakistan. Their Home Secretary R. K. Singh told reporters that the scheme has been suspended till further notice. As fallout of the incident, nine Pakistani hockey players have been sent back under the pressure of Shiv Sena as extra-ordinary situation has arisen. These actions reflect that Indians have decided to suspend relations with Pakistan at least for the time being or plans to exert pressure on rather weak Pakistani government.
Often Indians have used pathetic and clumsy excuses to sever relations with Pakistan essentially to humiliate and harm it. The present change of heart on the part of Indians can be attributed to a number of factors. The most prominent and glaring would be internal malady of Pakistan. In this moment of weakness, why India, our arch enemy should comfort us by keeping border quiet. They are already supporting insurgency in FATA and Baluchistan. They certainly would like to stretch Armed Forces of Pakistan as much as they can. Unabated insurgency in Pakistan has already been recognized by the Army as the major threat to the sovereignty of the country. Army is in the process of finalizing doctrine and drills to combat this menace. Such actions by India not only exert extra pressure on the Armed Forces of the country, these also effect trade and economic activities within the country making its management even more difficult.
At this point in time, Pakistan is transiting from one political government to another. Elections are likely to be held in next few months. Under normal circumstances that constitutes a period of relative instability. The struggle between conventional political forces and the forces of change has added to the criticality of this period. These forces of change want middle class of the country to take charge of the destiny of the country instead of landlords and industrialists. This won’t be an easy transition. The struggle may spill into clashes and bloodshed adding to the instability of the country. With this sort of turmoil prevalent in the country our advisory may consider that we are at the lowest ebb of our life. To this effect our history also cautions us; therefore, we should not take these border skirmishes lightly. These can take an ugly shape. To avert such a situation Political Leadership must show maturity and greater degree of tact. Moreover, competing political players need to exhibit higher degree of tolerance to take the country out of this slippery road bend.