Out of my mind: Let sense prevail

India has asserted its right to cross the LoC to eliminate the terrorist camps. But the official Pakistani army is yet to engage.

Written by Meghnad Desai | Updated: October 2, 2016 12:14 pm
india pakistan, narendra modi, modi, pathankot, pathankot attack, uri, uri attack, uri terror attack, india terrorism, pakistan terrorism, surgical strikes, saarc, saarc pakistan, saarc islamabad, saarc india In his first speech after being chosen to lead the BJP’s parliamentary campaign, he spoke about extending our arms to Pakistan to fight poverty together. He did not have to say it. But he meant it.

When we visited Pakistan last year, the puzzle in everyone’s mind was about Narendra Modi. They had expected a hardline anti-Pakistan leader who would initiate aggressive action. But they found him to be peace-loving and friendly. Modi confused his detractors and his fans in India and round the world. The bogeyman created by the Congress was nowhere to be found. Modi went out of his way to be conciliatory. He invited Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his swearing-in ceremony. He dropped in on him informally to join a family celebration. Indeed, the Opposition began to criticise him for being too soft.

Modi genuinely meant peace. In his first speech after being chosen to lead the BJP’s parliamentary campaign, he spoke about extending our arms to Pakistan to fight poverty together. He did not have to say it. But he meant it.

He got kicked, not once but twice — at Pathankot and Uri. Now, for the first time since 1965, India has retaliated directly to a Pakistani attack. It has also launched a multi-pronged diplomatic attack by examining the Indus Treaty and refusing to attend SAARC meeting. What now?

The attack and counterattack will continue for a while. India has asserted its right to cross the LoC to eliminate the terrorist camps. But the official Pakistani army is yet to engage. There is the issue of Nawaz versus Pakistan army chief Raheel Sharif, and the next implosion may be in Islamabad. This war may not be total but it could be very long.

The first effect could be on SAARC. It has to be declared dead. India should set up an alternative association excluding Pakistan. Just look at ASEAN and we can see the potential gain that a group of trading nations could achieve from an arrangement which concentrated on economics.

But if the war goes on, there will be international concern. After all, India and Pakistan have nuclear capabilities. Nuclear weapons don’t just make a bigger bang but their after-effects could hurt both countries, regardless of who uses the weapon first. The entire territory from Peshawar to Lucknow would be subject to radiation if a bomb was exploded anywhere around the border. The danger is that the international system is no longer as powerful as it used to be to persuade the warring sides to stop short of total war. Obama is on his way out and whoever is the new president of the US will take time to intervene. Europe is no better prepared. France has a presidential election in Spring 2017. The UK’s prime minister, Theresa May, is preoccupied with Brexit. China favours Pakistan. Except for Vladimir Putin, there is no powerful leader who could be even-handed.

Thus, a prolonged war between India and Pakistan has to stop short of the nuclear stage, and only a nuclear power can prevent that. Of course, both sides could exercise restraint. But this is new territory for both. The 45 years of Cold War passed without either side using nuclear weapons because both understood the consequences. Even during the Cuban missile crisis, there was restraint.

Can we hope that despite the anger, sense will prevail? Self-destruction is not desirable.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App now

  1. A
    Anti
    Oct 2, 2016 at 11:54 am
    Surgical strike yes Indian s carry out surgical strike daily in morning on railway tracks and open fields lol. Built toilets first
    Reply
    1. A
      Aditya
      Oct 2, 2016 at 4:10 am
      Don't worry about the nuclear bombs as nuclear radiation from it will also spread to stan through water and air. Also western countries will neutralize stan before it as they are worried that it falling in jihadi forces. The best way to neutralize them is to isolated stan completely so it starts failing economically completely. Then western countries will negotiate loans in place of nuclear bombs. Russia and Israel might provide India with Irom Dome and anti missle systems to destroy over stan.
      Reply
      1. A
        Ajay G
        Oct 2, 2016 at 10:44 am
        It is not likely that escalation will be upto exchanging nukes. Pal army will prefer to avoid confrontation as much as possible. lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt; They are compelled to keep the tempo up with Talibans. Mullas will build up pressure on Pak Army if it directly takes on India. lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt; India stands a bright chance of another successful surgical strike, deeper inside this time.
        Reply
        1. H
          Hard Talk
          Oct 2, 2016 at 1:26 pm
          In larger picture, Jihad started by Maulana Modudi continues. lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt; Islamic Atomic Bomb is bound to go into hands of Jihadis. lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt; Modi's close friend Nawaz was looking for a successor to Rahil Sharif due to retire in November. Now, Nawaz will make way for Rahil Sharif to take over as President. We can hear it at any moment. lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt; Modi will get to talk to his real counterpart in stan. lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt; India's Army need to achieve the target before that. Choices will be limited after Civilian govt in stan makes way for Army. lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt; Madam Tavleen in her over zealousness to praise Modi has ignored many possibilities. Of course she is just a columnist not supposed to look into aspects that can go contrary to get views.
          Reply
          1. I
            Ingeborg Malik
            Oct 2, 2016 at 3:36 am
            Our Military Commanders are very Professional and they have the wherewithall to Neutralise the Command Structure of stan as a Preemptive measure even before an all out War breaks out.Thus in order to launch any such Missiles one must have Command Structure and I am quite sure that has been taken care off by our Strategic Military Commanders,so we should remain Calm and confident and not scurry around whelping like whipped Poodle.
            Reply
            1. B
              Bandra
              Oct 2, 2016 at 7:17 am
              I agree- both China and stan are landgrabbing countries that use history to validate their actions. If history is to be taken into account then the boundary of China should end at the great wall and stan existence is questionable. They try to cover up their greed and try to justify their exploitation of the wealth and resources of others in the name of history. China in South China sea, Africa, Latin America and so on and stan in their immediate neighbourhood. They like dragons will ultimately disappear from the face of the earth and be history.
              Reply
              1. S
                S. Kumar
                Oct 2, 2016 at 4:50 am
                India must engage with Israel to seek her expertise in containing stani nuclear threats. I think Modi understands that and covert cooperation is there. Israel was keen to ist India since the very beginning to neutralise stani nuclear operations but Indira spurned them. Only Narasimha Rao had the courage to start open relations with Israel followed by Vajpayee. Others were worried about their vote banks.
                Reply
                1. M
                  Murthy
                  Oct 2, 2016 at 2:29 am
                  Nuclear War is threatened by stan, not India. Even in this paper's blog section, you will find stanis using that threat. So, what can India do, except RETALIATE. We have to FACE THE CONSEQUENCES. Hiroshima and Nagasaki suffered immensely but they are thriving cities now. stan is the smaller country and most of it will be gone in a nuclear war. India is bigger. Up to Lucknow, the author thinks there will be damage. There is a lot of India after Lucknow.
                  Reply
                  1. M
                    Murthy
                    Oct 2, 2016 at 2:33 am
                    When Chernobyl happened there was increased radiation levels in water and even milk in Scandinavia. If nuclear bombs go off in the Sub-continent, China's crops in most of her Western and parts of Southern China will go radio-active. China may not care. Their scheme is to grab Arunachal Pradesh as India and stan are exchanging nuclear bombs. So, China wants a nuclear exchange between India and stan.
                    Reply
                    1. M
                      mohan
                      Oct 2, 2016 at 6:34 am
                      stani weapons of m destruction and its nukes are for deterrence only. The launch/detonation codes are under Chinese control. It is acting as a proxy of China's RED JIHAD operations. If China is a SNAKE then stan is its VENOM.
                      Reply
                      1. N
                        naidu kare
                        Oct 2, 2016 at 12:27 pm
                        isrrealis are missionaries. let us not trust them
                        Reply
                        1. P
                          poo ki
                          Oct 2, 2016 at 4:32 pm
                          Hobnobbing with Burqua Butt has mallowed Meghnad. Come on your Lordship, you do not have to fight Jack Straw's seat in Burnley; nor that of Keith Vaz in Leicester and so you can afford to be principled - no Islamic fanatics to pander. Abandon Burqua, who is only interested in the greenback of the Porkistani rupee note, and stand up for the righteous path. Support Modi for his crusade to blow PooKiStan to smithereeen
                          Reply
                          1. P
                            poo ki
                            Oct 2, 2016 at 6:10 pm
                            Kya hua? Raheel ki g@@nd mein nookiliar explojen hua!
                            Reply
                            1. P
                              poo ki
                              Oct 2, 2016 at 5:01 pm
                              Nope! He sends his mother, sister and the wife to placate the neighbour. He is pseudosickular in chief.
                              Reply
                              1. P
                                Prerna Deshmukh
                                Oct 2, 2016 at 4:44 am
                                Don't worry about Nuclear weapons. Terrorist leaders like Masood Azhar don't want to die. They only want others to die for their cause. Also they don't have any other place than stan to hide, not even Afghanistan or Iraq or Syria. Ditto for stani army generals. Parvez Musharraf has been denied visa for USA. So they won't start any nuclear war. RELAX.
                                Reply
                                1. R
                                  r
                                  Oct 2, 2016 at 12:16 pm
                                  Your neighbour is doing surgical strikes in your house. You, your father and brother in law are crying
                                  Reply
                                  1. R
                                    rajan Karunakaran
                                    Oct 2, 2016 at 5:33 pm
                                    I agree with opinion of Lord Desai.
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      Raj
                                      Oct 2, 2016 at 7:05 am
                                      We shouldn't be bothered about engaging the 'official' stani Army. We need it to exist for the time being if only to maintain some kind of order in that country. If the Pak Army disintegrates before removing their nuke capability, that would be the most dangerous thing that could happen, as the jihadis will get hold of nukes and go mental with them not only in India but all over the world. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;For the time being, we must take out jihadi camps/bases both in PoK and stan as and when we discover/locate them, irrespective of any future terrorist attacks in India.lt;br/gt;.
                                      Reply
                                      1. R
                                        Rashida Khan
                                        Oct 2, 2016 at 9:08 pm
                                        Meghnad has a yogurt brain-- oooh they have nukes, so let's not do anything?
                                        Reply
                                        1. M
                                          MP Singh
                                          Oct 2, 2016 at 5:57 pm
                                          India has tried again and again to be friendly with stan in every way. But stan is not only selfish, the Army and terrorists' influence on the civilian Government is beyond control and comprehension. They have ignored not only our offers of friendship but on the other hand they have continued to attack India along the border repeatedly. They have forced India to take retaliatory action. If stan had done even half of this to Israel, stan would have been eliminated from the map. India has resorted to only a small and friendly retaliation.
                                          Reply
                                          1. S
                                            S.P.Chakravarty
                                            Oct 1, 2016 at 9:30 pm
                                            For sense to prevail, the rhetoric has to be calmed down. India has the greater responsibility for keeping the discourse low key because it is still a functioning state. Internal tensions amongst different power centres and political Islam with its own fissures amongst religious sects together have rendered stan a virtually failed state. Gloating over the success of the strike into jihadi camps acros the LOC is ill advised for an internationally responsible country.
                                            Reply
                                            1. Load More Comments