Cease fire violations by Pakistan have reached a new dangerous level. Home minister Mr. Rajnath Singh warned Pakistan of a befitting reply. A scheduled flag meeting between commanders was canceled. The opposition has taunted the government. Congress leaders mock the Prime Minister for displaying a 5.6 inch chest instead of the 56 inch chest he was boasting about. According to military sources Indian retaliation has inflicted equally damaging losses to Pakistan. The situation contains potential of a fatal disaster which does not attract official attention. A strong Indian military response does not defuse the crisis but compounds it. Consider the context.
Eventually if the situation escalates to a border war what might happen? The assurance by Indian military sources that our soldiers will best the enemy does not reassure. Pakistan has a divided army that is part professional and part infiltrated by pro-terrorist fanatics. These fundamentalists are psychologically unstable with a strong suicidal streak. If a stage is reached where it appears that Pakistan might suffer a fatal or even humiliating defeat would such elements hesitate to use nuclear weapons? If the sane and professional elements of the Pakistan army would disallow it might not it be possible for the fanatics to snuggle tactical nuclear weapons to terrorists and ask them to act? This might never happen. But this could always happen. For disaster to strike there is always the first time. Should India prevaricate and allow such possibility to linger? India must swiftly address the situation and safeguard its security as best it can.
The question is how that might be accomplished.
To stop the continuing current drift in our Pakistan policy this writer has frequently alluded to the soft line and the hard line towards Pakistan that our government can adopt. The soft line entails an offer for peace talks containing preconditions that would provide a litmus test of Pakistan’s ultimate intentions. India must offer joint military operations to end terrorism in both nations and simultaneous offer of talks for settling the Kashmir dispute to the satisfaction of all its stake holders. If the Pakistan army, which suffers more from terrorist casualties than India, does not respond the hard line should be adopted.
The hard line would entail terminating all diplomatic, trade and social contacts with Pakistan. Our embassy in Islamabad would remain only in name. Border security and defence preparations would have to be maximized. India then must diplomatically support Baluchistan claim for independence. India must extend full diplomatic support to the provisions of the Durand Line Treaty by which NWFP region reverts to a greater Afghanistan. In other words diplomatically the process to break up Pakistan must commence. Pakistan as at present is a failed state. It must reform or perish. Whether through the hard line or soft line the end result would be the same. It would be to end present day Pakistan either by reforming it through its inclusion in a South Asian Union or by breaking it into smaller states.