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A Swarajya Magazine article over India’s Cold Start Doctrine used a very important statement.
In three wars with Pakistan, India’s defence forces experienced the frustration of seeing the political leadership surrender on the negotiating table what the soldiers had won on the battlefield.
And another, Dr Subhash Kapila writes,
The long mobilisation time gives the political leadership time to waver under pressure, and in the process deny the Indian Army its due military victories…The new war doctrine would compel the political leadership to give political approval ‘ab-initio’ and thereby free the armed forces to generate their full combat potential from the outset.
If India’s official military policy itself considers the preference for backing out as a deciding factor, it is no wonder Pakistan sees it no different and it already has plans ready in place to exploit this.
Take the example of 1971 itself. India broke Pakistan and after that, returned all the prisoners of war and the land captured in the Western theatre. And magnanimously, India declared PoK as the real border. What did Pakistan do in return? It executed the signatory. What did India do in return?
Knowing that India will not take a decisive action and that there are sufficient people in India to parrot it’s views, whenever there is a change in government, Pakistan tests the new government. But, Modi turned a very hard nut to crack and Pakistan was absolutely isolated on the international playing field. Forget international playing field, Pakistan is not visible even in Indian news. Now, whatever we are seeing, China is responding to India in a knee-jerk fashion. Pakistan needs to do something to capture the lost space.
What and all happened? India responded to Pakistani cross-border fire in kind. Our peaceniks demanded India to stop firing and initiate talks.
India shamed Nawaz Sharif in the UN. There was no press coverage in India.
A Brigade Headquarters was attacked. When India retaliated by sending troops across the border, our politicians demanded proof of the attack.
India was ready to let Kashmir Valley burn but didn’t bend towards Pakistan, even after decisively proving, through the exercise of demonetization, that the movement in Kashmir is a mercenary movement operating for the money thrown on their faces and not for any ideology.
So, it plans another duel. It kidnaps an Indian citizen from Iran and pronounces a death sentence on him in a Kangaroo Court suddenly set up by the military. The government has already declared the proof is inconclusive and is caught napping when it got to know of the sentence only after it is pronounced. It is stuck in such a position where it is forced to support the military. Neither does the courts know of the trial in advance. And what is the conclusive proof? A confession under duress.
As expected, India is up in arms, in outrage. As if to add fuel to fire and to prove the adage Indian Crab, a tea party set up with Pakistani Ambassador and some other politicians is conducted, with people attending it. One of them asked, if Modi went to Lahore, what’s the problem in me meeting Pakistanis? Can things be any absurd than this, where an insignificant individual equates his personal decision to the official policy of the government of India? And by requesting Pakistan to consider India’s case, they have singlehandedly elevated Pakistan to the level of India.
So, why did Pakistan do this? What exactly is it planning to achieve out of this? There are a few things one can think of –
1. The falling prestige of the military. Qamar Bajwa is not seen as strong as Raheel Sharif. To avoid cutting a sorry figure, he will have to do something. And that something should prove that he holds the civil government in contempt. Else, he will be staring at a military coup.
2. One should not forget that this act is timed with the visit of the Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh, and which China is not happy about. This can be something done by Pakistan to please it’s new masters.
3. If not pleasing the masters, it can be an attempt to preempt a stand off between India and China, which none are interested in?
4. The usual thing, forcing India onto the talks table?
And seeing that all of them are failing, with India giving a strong response, Pakistan has blocked the appeal by declaring to debar any lawyer who fights Kulbhushan Yadav’s case. It’s interesting to watch what is going to happen.
But, Pakistan has proven yet again that it is quixotic and attention mongering and it is ready to chop it’s hand off if it gives it some attention.
So, what should India do in response to this?
1. Play the Pakistani game – barter, barter someone whom India captured in retaliation for this.
2. Absolute silence from India, mainly from media. Let background channels work, but there should be absolute silence in Indian press. It will be interesting to watch when Pakistan’s attempt to gain attention falls flat on it’s face.
3. Downgrading of diplomatic mission. A minor embassy is more than enough for Pakistan, not a High Commission.
4. The most aggressive solution is Subramanian Swamy’s Baki-stan – the only thing left is Punjab, Baki will be separate states/merged with others.
The point here, which India should assert here is, Pakistan is a nothing before India and should act accrodingly – it should be placed on the same pedestal India deals with some Central African nation about which no one heard about.

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