Thursday, February 19, 2009

Time to snap all ties with Pakistan

The whole damn thing – like as always in the past – is fast descending into a farce and a bloody masquerade. Close to three months have passed since the 26/11 carnage in Mumbai and we now get ‘credible’ reports from investigators in Pakistan that those who planned the brutal attack were not from Pakistan. By the time you read this, the Pakistani Foreign Minister or Interior Minister would have almost certainly officially informed India of the same. Indian citizens and the Establishment would be outraged at the duplicity and perfidy of Pakistan. But then, in a response that is typically Indian, the Mumbai carnage would be a fading memory and the media would be more preoccupied with the love story of Chand and Fiza. There will be some chest thumping because the American Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, will announce that Pakistan needs to do much more to curb terrorism. Bleeding hearts will keep up their rant that Pakistan is as much a victim of terrorism as India. More bleeding hearts will preach that only ‘people to people’ interaction will lead to lasting solutions. And of course, there will be those disposed towards misplaced bellicosity who will keep insisting that only sustained attacks on training camps based in Pakistan will teach ‘them’ a lesson. But eventually, one more bomb blast will kill and maim dozens or hundreds in another Indian city and the whole cycle of accusations and denials will resume; only to end again in a farce.

I completely agree with level headed and sober analysts that launching a military offensive against Pakistan will not necessarily result in an end to cross border terrorism. That could have been a risk worth taking if the Indian military had the power and punch to decisively knock out and decisively defeat the Pakistani military in a short and swift conflict. The unpalatable reality is: the Indian military doesn’t have that kind of punch. In any case, the powers that be know that the Big Boys will force India to go for a quick ceasefire and a stalemate. Pakistan will again make promises to stop encouraging jehadi attacks against India. It will again break that promise with impunity. So, is India to sit impotently and not be able to do anything about it?

I strongly suggest that we simply cut off all ties and relations with Pakistan. I don’t mean just the recall of the diplomats; I mean the complete works. No people to people contacts, no cultural exchange programmes; no cricket matches either in India or Pakistan or even in another country. No Indian artistes in Pakistan and vice-versa. All embassies, consulates and the likes must be shut down and there should be a complete and unequivocal ban of travel between the two countries. This will anger the bleeding hearts sure. But the least that India and Indian citizens can do is to express how utterly disgusted they are by the brazen duplicity of Pakistan that it is no longer interested in any relations with that country. I know, the terror attacks will probably still continue. But for heaven’s sake, rather improve internal security than have anything to do with a State that is bent upon destroying India.


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