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Pak game-plan

Pak game-plan

Author: N.V.Subramanian
Publication: Newsinsight.net
Date: June 3, 2009
URL: http://www.newsinsight.net/archivedebates/nat2.asp?recno=1844

Worse will follow with Hafiz Sayeed's release, and India is unprepared, says N.V.Subramanian.

Sometimes, it is necessary to comprehend the basics of a situation to understand subsequent developments, and that is the only way to see through the game plan of what, for want of a more suitable term, may be called the Pakistan military-intelligence-Islamic state or PMIIS, which yesterday orchestrated the release of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa/ Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist leader, Hafiz Mohammed Sayeed. Pakistan, which was created on the basis of the Two Nation Theory (Jinnah was a keen adherent of this theory for all L.K.Advani's lionizing of him as a champion secularist), sees its identity and survival only in opposition to India, which it calls Hindustan with the emphasis on the Hindu. At the same time, Pakistan realizes it needs strategic depth against India, which can only be got in Afghanistan with a puppet government. If Afghanistan becomes stable and powerful on its own (which is impossible), it can dispute the Durand Line with Pakistan and claim Pushtun territories in Pakistan, which means practically all of NWFP and more. So, on one hand, Pakistan cannot settle for peace with India. If not Kashmir, it would have to manufacture a dispute, say Hyderabad. It is no coincidence that the LeT terrorists in Bombay first claimed to be fighting for Deccan or some such thing's independence. Deccan has slipped out of everyday Indian usage long ago. More to the point, Hafiz Sayeed has made no secret of his desire to Balkanize India. (The attack on Red Fort some years ago by his terrorists was symbolic of that.) This is also the aim of the PMIIS, or maybe Hafiz Sayeed merely reflects it. What drives this aim is a fear that if modern India, a successful repudiator of the Two Nation Theory, is not unraveled, Pakistan will disintegrate from the weight of its internal contradictions (Sunni versus Shia/ Ahmadiyas, etc, Punjab versus the rest, and so on). This fear is driven to insane proportions by the fact that India did split away East Pakistan and dealt a body blow to the Two Nation Theory in 1971. On the other hand, if Afghanistan is not subjugated for itself and to meet Pakistan's ends against India, almost certainly NWFP would be lost to Afghanistan sooner or later, and that would be the beginning of Pakistan's end too. Pakistan came nearest to fulfilling its strategic objectives apropos India and Afghanistan when the Soviets messily intervened in Afghanistan in 1979 and India formally made Pakistan a military-nuclear equal with the May 1998 Pokharan test. But in the end, Pakistan could not stabilize Afghanistan either with the so-called mujahideen or the Taliban to gain the critical strategic depth against India, and of course the Al-Qaeda ruined it all (from their perspective) by doing 9/ 11. Pakistan was forced to leave Afghanistan, but in the calculation of the PMIIS, the withdrawal would (and could) only be temporary. Which explains all the recurring assistance to the Al-Qaeda and Taliban to overthrown the Hamid Karzai government. But the expected or unexpected bonus from running the Afghan mujahideen operation is that it gave Pakistan perfect instruments to bleed India "with a thousand cuts". It started with Kashmir and it has spread all over India. Pakistan tried with "jihadis" in Kashmir in 1947-48 and 1965 but only succeeded in the latter Eighties because it was covered by then by its deterrent and India could not easily launch a counter war. Pakistan solidified that position with its Chagai test rivaling Pokharan II, and Parvez Musharraf tried with Kargil to fight a limited war under a nuclear overhang. Since then, the bleeding of India has continued, and India has been unable to retaliate because of US pressure and lack of political will. With Hafiz Sayeed's release, for example, the first reflex was to look at the US, as though it has a magic wand. The US presence/ role in Af-Pak is only delaying fructification of the old strategic aims of the PMIIS, and they will come into play once America tires of the fighting, which is only a matter of time. The PMIIS has shown an extraordinary capacity to survive hostile environments and situations and carry forth its strategic aims against India and Afghanistan. In releasing Hafiz Sayeed is a message that Punjabi terrorist groups have no constraints on their anti-India operations. Expect a Bombay-like attack soon with more built-in deniability. There will be no Kasab on this occasion to give evidence. On the other hand, the PMIIS will do its best to insulate the Afghan Taliban leadership from its present campaign against the Pakistan Taliban (which is also a sham from some accounts), because eventually regaining Afghanistan remains its undiminished, unshakeable aim. Where does it leave India? In deep trouble. Very soon, exasperated America is going to tell India to stop bleating and negotiate Kashmir with Pakistan. If India wants to keep Kashmir, it has to commence owning up the fight against Pakistani terrorists and do all that needs to be done. This is a long war, and unfortunately, there is no recognition in the second Manmohan Singh government of the external realities as there wasn't in the first. N.V.Subramanian is Editor, NewsInsight.net. He has authored two novels, University of Love (Writers Workshop, Calcutta) and Courtesan of Storms (Har-Anand, Delhi).

- Please visit N.V.Subramanian's blog http://courtesanofstorms.blog.com

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