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India has been at the receiving end of violence for long. The Pakistan army and the forces encouraged by it have been attacking our soldiers along the Line of Control with impunity. And our response has been on predictable lines — strong condemnation, summoning the Pakistan High Commissioner to register our protest, and so on (“Let’s not be so predictable,” Aug. 8). Let us learn a lesson or two from Israel and America on how to effectively deal with terrorism and insurgency.
The Army categorically said those who killed the Indian jawans on the LoC on Tuesday were Pakistani soldiers (and withdrew the statement later). But Defence Minister A.K. Antony said that the killers were in Pakistani military uniform. It is this contradiction that has created an uproar. We are engaging the civilian government of Pakistan which does not have any control over its military establishment. What, then, is the use of talks?
Continuing the dialogue process at any cost will portray India as a soft and weak state. The victims of the 1993 attack and 26/11 are still awaiting justice because of the government’s weak posturing towards Pakistan.
Before responding to Mr. Sharif’s alleged “friendly overtures,” it would be wise for the Indian government to find out the tilt in the balance between Pakistan’s civilian and military leadership. For starters, it could establish guilt in the recent skirmish on the LoC. If it was the Pakistan army that was responsible for the attack, engaging with a civilian set-up that has no control over its military would be futile. The BJP must, of course, show a mature approach towards such sensitive issues.
The editorial is an attempt to gloss over the UPA government’s pusillanimous response to yet another Pakistani act of treachery and cowardice. Mr. Sharif's sincerity is in serious doubt as he is unwilling to rein in the terrorists and the ISI.
The none-too-intelligent statement by Mr. Antony has provided an indirect alibi to Pakistan. While Mr. Sharif may be sincere in normalising relations with India, he should remember that the Pakistan army, breathing over his shoulders, is not keen on it. India doesn’t act firm. Instead, it genuflects before Pakistan in the name of diplomacy.
When the civilian government in Pakistan completed a full term and people voted for the next government, it appeared that the unresolved issues between the two countries would be resolved amicably. But it is clear that the civilian government has no control over the all-powerful military.
As for India, it is struggling to keep a stable and transparent government afloat. It is in a fix, not knowing how to handle important national issues and the border tensions with China and Pakistan. The best solution for New Delhi at the moment is to concentrate on important domestic issues and snap all ties with Pakistan.
More than a ‘measured response,’ as some are making it out to be, Mr. Antony’s statement was reflective of the ineffective coordination between different organs of the government, and lack of intelligence inputs.
India neither takes a firm stand nor does it have any neighbour supporting it. While war is not an option and bilateral talks should not be held hostage to these events, India’s efforts to send a stern message to Pakistan have all but failed. Caution should not be allowed to develop into inaction.