23January2020

Andaman Chronicle

The Daily Diary of the Islands

War Hysteria

The terrorists and Pakistani army have succeeded in achieving the long awaited result to move their troop out of Afghan border. The Pakistani Army is confused in fighting a war against the Taliban and Al- Qaida, whom they were training a decade back. The war hysteria created by both Indian and Pakistani government with the help of media worked in the favor of these terrorists to move the Pakistani army to eastern border and consolidate their base again to fight against NATO forces. They succeeded in destroying the supplies routed to fight against them. With unsecured NWFP and FATA region, it is helping them striking the coalition forces with better strategy and strength. If this hysteria continues the global war on terror will weaken. It will be foolishness to have another war when one war is in full swing. The newly elected government at United States wants to end the war at Afghanistan as early as possible with a possible surge of 30,000 more troops. Let's help United States to end this war.  If India can support 30,000 troops to the coalition force, it will take our relationship with United States to an advanced level and will weaken Pakistan claim on global terror war. When this war is won, it will automatically dismantle all terror cells in Pakistan. Instead of that we are creating war hysteria.

There was a panic in Pakistani Army before the Mumbai carnage with the aggressive comments from US President Elect Barack Obama about possible strikes in Pakistan and redrawn map of South Asia by New York Times showing truncated Pakistan. The map controversy made them think West and India are colluding to destroy their nuclear assets. The war hysteria situation is helping the Pakistani Army win their confidence back and helped them send a strong signal to United States and Pakistan government to not take them for granted. Both the Pakistani people and the militants (including Pakistan Taliban) openly committed their support in case of war against India.  These helped them to keep the elected government on their toes. It was no brainer when President Zardari back tracked on ISI head visit to India. Pakistan army even pushed the government to say the surgical strike will be considered a war against Pakistan. The world powers are now engaged in defusing tension between India and Pakistan and lost focus in the global terror war.

The world has realized that Pakistan is the epicenter of world terrorism but at the same time is scared of its nuclear assets. The war against Pakistan has to be won through diplomacy and not conventional or nuclear war. Both the United States and United Kingdom has given their verdict by asking Pakistan to act to avoid being consumed by extremism. The surprise came from British Prime Minister when he said three fourth of terrorist act in British has its origin in Pakistan. What more India wanted to prove to the world?

India as a matured democracy needs to understand that the government in Pakistan is a puppet government and trying very hard to prove its credibility. The newly democratic government is just about a year old and has all possible threat to be overrun by General Kayani. Not to forget, Pakistan has a long history of dictatorship and it's difficult for any democratic government to act against army. How can India forget the Kargil episode, when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was not even aware of General Musharaf plan? President Zardari intention seems to be good, just before the carnage he offered of no first use of nuclear warheads against India, which came as a surprise to everyone including Pakistan army. He offered to sideline the Kashmir issue to improve the ties, but then he can't do all this alone. He is fighting within his country to take the relationship to next level. Any aggressive statements by India are working against him. The anti-India and anti-west feeling is present at all levels and it is not easy for any elected government to change overnight. The banned organization Jamaat-ud-Dawaat is running charities, schools and colleges; they have scholars, engineers and doctors as part of their organization. They may be perceived as terrorist organization in the world but not for Pakistan's destitute. These are very challenging tasks for the government. Pakistan has repeatedly denied getting any solid evidence except for what Indian media has been reporting. The Indian minister has confirmed the evidence is not shared and will be done once the investigation is over. So why are we expecting Pakistan to act? We communicate to Pakistan more through media than through diplomatic channels. We have so many government spokespersons with different version of stories.  

India knows very well that the 40 short listed terrorist are not going to make any difference. With the election in mind, government is pushing very aggressive agenda on Pakistan to cover its short come on tackling the issue. More than 600 people have been killed and hundreds maimed and devastated in terror strikes in last six years, but the government has not taken any steps to tackle this menace.  In 2008 alone, there were 11 terrorist strikes and government is doing follow-up only on one because of elites being struck.  What are the steps taken by this government to ensure the safety of the people except for changing the home minister, forming NIA, setting up 4 NSG hubs and passing anti terror law? It's been more than a month the home minister has not shown his progress report. One third of the country is fighting the extremism and the government didn't do anything except for blaming Pakistan.  The government has worked very well in diverting the attention towards Pakistan instead of making our system competent. The rhetoric comments by our External Affairs Minister are a very good example of the same. The media is playing a much better role by showing the clips of 1971 war and how Indian air force is superior to Pakistan. There are media claims that UPA government is more interested in extraditing Jaish-e-Mohammad Chief Masood Azhar than LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi to gain advantage over NDA in coming election. Already certain sections of Congress party started comparing Mumbai massacre with Indian Airlines hijacking.

The common man needs to understand that war is not in the interest of both nations. It will take us back to 20th century and we will have more problems than what we have today. Our Home Ministry need to work 24X7 to strengthen our internal security, modernize police, fire and paramedics force, build a national identity system, use of high end technology (remote sensing, encrypted communication to list a few), better coordination between police and armed forces and dedicated crisis management team. The government should focus on improving our infrastructure than blaming others.

War is no solution and hysteria is working totally against India and World interest. Let's stop talking through media and open diplomatic channels. Let's fight this menace together and not blame anyone.