12 June 2015

India Bashing Pakistan - Whither Pakistan's Response?

Brigadier Agha Gul (Pakistan Army, Retd.)

India's Pakistan-bashing has been going on soon after Prime Minister Modi took over, nearly for two years now. That Nawaz Sharif tried to normalise the estranged relations through several attempts was brushed aside. It started with sporadic LoC violations, killing unaware soldiers along the LoC, even those who were invited for talks and the civilians who were either caught unaware or just became victims of Indian shelling and heavy weapons' firing. Cancellation of Foreign Secretary level talks at the last minute, belligerent, tough talk by the Indian PM and finally the open threats to attack Pakistan during the second week of June 2015 by various Indian Ministers, and then the PM himself, have finally woken up Pakistan from its wishful slumber of 'Hoping for Peace'.

PM Modi bragged about having broken up Pakistan while on a visit to Bangladesh and owned the insurgency in East Pakistan which was run by RAW. Modi also protested to China during his visit for the planned China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Indian PM and its ministers have now openly challenged the prospects of CPEC ever becoming a reality and declared their intent to launch terrorism aimed at destabilizing Pakistan. Pakistan Army was the First to respond to these belligerent statements with the COAS making it loud and clear that Pakistan has the will and the capability to crush any adventurism by India. The Pakistan Media also reacted emotionally to this military threat by angrily responding, holding Talk Shows and showing angry statements of patriotic politicians.

PM NS mildly and his Ministers angrily, spoke in the NA and ended up by passing a Resolutions by NA and Senate. Possibly Provincial Assemblies would follow the suit.

However, is that all Pakistan and Pakistanis should do? When a confirmed enemy starts openly threatening and denying Pakistan's sovereign rights impinging on Pakistan's vital national interests, then the response must be commensurate with the provocation and appropriate. Statements by the ministers, PM and COAS might boost the nation's morale but will not be adequate to deter aggression and defeat it, should the deterrence fail.

There are a number of steps Pakistan ought to take:

- Indian has clearly violated UN Charter by making poisonous statements at the highest political level. These statements cannot be countered through domestic resolutions or counter statements by ministers. PM NS was again conciliatory. This will be interpreted by the enemy as weakness. This attitude must change.

- At the Diplomatic level, Pakistan should expel Indian High Commissioner and withdraw its HC from India while reducing the staff in both the Embassies withing a fortnight.

- The Indian threat should be referred to UNSC and suitable measures demanded to put India under pressure and retract its threats at that forum.

- Ambassadors in major countries be asked to lodge Pakistan's protest in their respective countries of accreditation for India's open violation of UN Charter.

- The trade with India must stop immediately. Transit to/from Afghanistan may be allowed but a warning given to stop it within one month.

- All Indian movies and TV channels running in Pakistan be closed forthwith. Pakistan TV channels must be ordered by PEMRA to stop showing Indian actresses/actors and thousands of daily advertisements pertaining to India or made in India or showing Indian actors/actresses.

- The advertisements all over Pakistan on billboards showing Indian actors/actresses must be removed immediately.

- A special War Readiness Tax, even if small, must be passed through the NA to get ready for war with India.

- All preparations needed for general mobilization should be commenced. Preparedness for war is not only Armed Forces' task, the entire nation is required to be prepared.

- Through the APC, the PM must acquire special powers to impose part of Emergency in the country to muzzle the anti-Pakistan anchors, writers, TV channels, newspapers and such persons who have been promoting India and belittling Pakistan's armed forces, ideology and nationhood. They are the instruments of enemy 's 5GW and must not be given freedom in the name of freedom-of-expression, human-rights and such euphemism to hide their true ugly face.

We must not be caught unaware now that the Indian politicians led by their PM are beating the drums to generate a fury across the border and loudly rattling sabres. Appeasement has a limit. Zardari and NS both crossed that limit long ago.