Honourable Prime Minister,
Nuclear proliferation renders terrorism potentially fatal. Once again a terrorist strike near Ambala railway station was averted by the police. Intelligence sources claim evidence about Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) attempting to revive terrorism and separatism in Punjab by creating an alliance between the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Babar Khalsa.
How long will this nation endure terror, tension and destabilization?
The stupidity of successive Indian governments in dealing with China and Pakistan has now started to haunt the nation. Despite the government’s ineptitude and corruption the Indian economy has thrived thanks to the ingenuity of Indian businessmen. But now that too is being threatened. The corruption, lack of governance and security threats are rapidly reducing the nation’s attractiveness as an investment destination. Foreign direct investment has started to shrink. Moves by China and Pakistan continue to destabilize the nation. Up till now independent India has never launched a war. We have fought wars launched against us. Nor should we ever start to launch wars. But why can we not insist upon peace with our neighbours? And if they fail to deliver that to us, why can we not in the best traditions of Mahatma Gandhi launch a total non-cooperation movement to achieve peace?
How might a unique national non-cooperation movement against neighbouring nations be launched?
- First, we must cease differentiating between China and Pakistan. As far as bleeding and destabilizing India is concerned both nations must be hyphenated and treated as one.
- Second, we must bluntly ask the Pakistan government if it will enter into a joint security system with India including nuclear weapons with total transparency between both governments even if that alters Islamabad’s present equation with Beijing. Ninety nine percent chances are that Pakistan will decline. If by a one percent chance it agrees, the credentials of Beijing will also be tested. It will have to reveal whether it can genuinely countenance South Asian stability. If China endorses a consolidated South Asia achieved through the region’s cultural nationalism, there would arise opportunities for enormous mutual advantages for both China and consolidated South Asia from trade and diplomatic cooperation. Such cooperation would exert uncommon influence on the global system. The formality of seeking clarification on the joint defence proposal from Pakistan is desirable before adopting the peaceful, total non-cooperation movement.
- Third, in the event of Pakistan’s immediate non-acceptance of joint defence India should cut all diplomatic, cultural and economic contacts with Pakistan and retain only a token embassy in Islamabad. At the same time India should start rapid de-escalation of trade with Beijing leading to a ban of all Chinese exports to India. The hardship caused to Indian business firms must be suffered because peaceful protests entail great sacrifices equal to those borne in wars. The government would have to subsidize and help Indian business units dealing with China. All effort should be made to create alternate tie-ups with America and European Union to compensate losses suffered by blocking all Chinese exports. India and the West including Russia can mutually help each other. India’s economy driven by domestic savings can weather loss of trade with Beijing much better than the Chinese economy heavily dependent upon exports and foreign direct investments can. The time to strike is now, unless Beijing relents and displays a convincing reversal of policy towards India and thereby towards its South Asian cat’s-paw, Pakistan.
- Fourth, India should extend moral support to the legitimate aspirations of the Baluch people to achieve independence. Baluchistan has strong historical grounds to demand independence.
- Fifth, India must recognize the provisions of the lapsed Durand Line Treaty and state that if Afghanistan wants to reclaim Pakhtunkhwa Khyber province and the FATA region of Pakistan, India would support that legitimate demand.
- Sixth, India must recognize Tibet to be disputed territory to be resolved through dialogue between Beijing and Tibet ’s government in exile. India must also recognize that Xingjian is a disputed territory to be resolved through dialogue between Beijing and the government of East Turkmenistan. India must enhance trade ties with Taiwan and recognize its independent status.
- Seventh, India must strengthen all its border areas by settling ex-servicemen and unemployed youth trained in infantry warfare equipped with small arms. These settlers should be offered generous incentives to set up small industry or farming. Such a trained citizen army would render very difficult for any enemy to forcibly occupy Indian Territory.
- Eighth, India must enhance its nuclear, missile and cyber technology to develop at the fastest rate possible a deterrent that would inhibit any global power.
These are the eight steps required if New Delhi is serious about stopping the present rot. India is being bled through a thousand cuts. For the last fifty years successive governments have refused to heed warnings given by this writer and other security analysts. The nation has paid a heavy price for past lapses by authority. This time around the price to be paid could be fatal.
It is time to tell our neighbours and the world:
“Give us peace or face our passive resistance!”
If India takes the lead, other nations might follow. How long will the world tolerate governments promoting terrorism?