Pakistan, like any other country has to deal with a dynamic environment, there is the unstable political spectrum to contend with, there are economic issues like the looming debt trap, there is the need to project itself internationally as a victim of terrorism while keeping its credibility alive in the already flagging war against terror, there are also natural disasters like the recent devastating floods to deal with. Amidst all this, one activity that remains constant for the country is its anti-India mandate which is nurtured most assiduously by the Pakistani Army, the ISI and government of Pakistan in the given order of priority.
The country is trying to deal with a natural disaster of unprecedented magnitude, there are people dead and dying due to lack of adequate infrastructure and means to deal with the calamity. India, with its usual magnanimity, is standing on the margins with a massive aid package, our Prime Minister is making repeated appeals to the Pakistan government to accept the same. Pakistan, in turn, is showing a finger to India and to add salt to injury the Pakistani Army is carrying on with its nefarious agenda of violating ceasefire along the line of control with the intention of assisting infiltration of terrorist groups into India.
The August, 19 ceasefire violation which coincides with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s appeal to his Pakistani counterpart to accept Indian aid for the flood victims witnessed mortar and rocket fire directly at Indian positions on the line of control at Nangi Tekri in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district. At a conservative estimate this is the tenth recorded ceasefire violation this year. India has already lodged two protests with the Pakistan High Commission in this regard this year – one on January, 22 and the second on July, 18. This apart there are more than 20 foiled infiltration bids this year, Defence Minister AK Antony has stated that from January to June this year 255 terrorists have attempted to infiltrate into India.
Intelligence inputs indicate that the latest strategy applied by the ISI in Kashmir involves combining infiltration attempts with unleashing of civil unrest so as to keep the pot boiling. Whether it is a coincidence or otherwise, this policy was at its peak when India was attempting diplomatic parleys with Pakistan. The humiliation that our Foreign Minister had to face during his visit to Pakistan in July this year is well recorded. This apart, while these parleys at different levels were going on, unrest in Kashmir was at its peak and infiltration attempts with cease fire violations were happening with astounding regularity.
One cannot fault the good intentions of our Prime Minister in offering aid for the flood affected victims of Pakistan. One cannot also ignore the inherent culture of our Nation which calls for spontaneous response in the assistance of humanity afflicted by calamity. There is no denying that it is our moral duty to come to the aid of the Pakistani people in their hour of suffering. However, is it appropriate for us to do all this for a country whose leadership is simply not ready to relent from its inimical attitude towards us? It is not India but Pakistan who has been historically adamant to keep the enmity alive. In the face of such belligerence is it right for us, as a country, to keep offering the olive branch?
The devastation of the Axis power, mainly Germany and Japan, in the two world wars was carried out by the European and American powers on the basis of a single line policy – “when you have an unrelenting enemy in your backyard crush him completely in the shortest possible period of time so that peace can maintained in the long run”. If Pakistan wants to maintain enmity with us we should not come across as a country incapable of taking decisive and stern action to counter the threat. We may bleed for the poor and downtrodden in Pakistan but we are, by no means, helping them with our passive and dovish approach. In the face of our passivity, they are being made to suffer by their leadership by constantly raising the anti-India bogey for personal gains.
While offering aid we should reflect on the need to extend support to a country whose leadership thinks only ill of us and leaves no opportunity to harm our interests. We have to reconsider our engagement of a Machocist leadership that keeps its personal ego above the needs of its people. Instead of bending backwards to provide aid we may be of more use to the people of Pakistan by highlighting the incapability of their government which is the result of its flawed priorities and policies.