It is said that when a nation loses sight of its history, it loses its memory and sense of direction, the result is aimless firing. This is a classic case of systematic failure of our foreign policy towards Pakistan. Pakistan’s foreign policy appears to be anchored on a ‘hate India-destroy India’ syndrome and annexing Kashmir is a part of its national agenda. The moot question is whether we can trust Pakistan with its current ‘peace’ initiative. Historically, Pakistan has not proved to be a trustworthy neighbour.
Within eight weeks of the creation of Pakistan, they pushed in hordes of tribesmen in the state of J & K in October 1947. This was the first terror attack in the world history engineered by Pakistan. The tribesmen were fully supported by Pakistan Army regulars with full fire power and logistic support.
This invasion brought misery, rape, death, arson and looting. Hindus and Sikhs were selectively butchered and this agony is difficult to forget and dangerous to remember. In spite of ground realities of Pakistan’s involvement the Pakistan government denied. This was a clear case of a blatant lie by Pakistan’s government. Not only this, the ruler of J & K state had entered into a ‘stand still’ agreement with the Government of Pakistan, Pakistan betrayed and did not honour this agreement. How can Pakistan be trusted at all?
During 1965, Pakistan launched Operation Gibraltar and infiltrated thousands of its regular army troops in guise of tribesmen and started destruction in the state of J & K. Pakistan as usual denied its role. This was another lie as documentary proof of the PoWs confirmed full involvement of the Government of Pakistan. Lal Bahadur Shastri gave a stern warning to Pakistan to stop aggression. Pakistan ignored this warning and Indian forces launched their counter attack along the cease fire line as also the International border which turned the scales in India’s favour.
In Kargil, till date, Pakistan has ashamedly denied its involvement. They have violated the Simla agreement. Incidentally the relevant clause of the Simla agreement reads as under:
“In Jammu and Kashmir, the Line of Control resulting from the cease fire line of December 17, 1971 shall be respected by both sides without prejudice to the recognized position of either side. Neither side shall seek to alter it unilaterally, irrespective of mutual differences and legal interpretations. Both sides further undertake to refrain from the threat or use of force in violation of this line”.
How can India trust such a neighbour? We lost 527 finest officers and men and Rs 6000 crores (Rs 60 billion) to evict the Pakistan army from Kargil who had crossed the line of control in utter disregard to an international agreement.
Terrorism is an industry in Pakistan and it earns maximum foreign exchange to bail out Pakistan’s economy. Billions of dollars worth loans have been waived for Pakistan. They earned billions by establishing terrorism organizations (such as Taliban) and also earned billions in dismantling/ diverting terror organizations (as happened in Afghanistan). But Pakistan denies its involvement in terrorism. Can India forget the terrorist attacks on the Indian Parliament, Red Fort (symbol of our independence), massacres of Amarnath yatris, attack on religious shrines- Akshardham, Raghunath temple and now Mumbai. How can one trust such a country?
It may not be out of place to re- narrate an anecdote when Mr Radhakrishnan as ambassador to Soviet Union met Mr Stalin and spoke a lot about non- violence and the need to live in peace with one’s neighbours. Stalin gave him a patient hearing and replied, “Mr. Ambassador, the Russian peasant is very wise. When he sees a wolf in his backyard, he kills it, he does not try to make friends with him.”
The Indian government can draw its own conclusion about its options in dealing with Pakistan. India must act and demonstrate its power and join hands with USA and Israel against terrorism in general and Pakistan in particular.
Col Indar Pal (Retd)
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