War theatre emerging around India

Dina Nath Mishra

Throughout history Kandahar was India’s natural border and because of it India was safe, whether the country was strong or weak internally. But over a period of time Kandahar fell as successive invaders attacked India. Invaders like Mohd Ghori, Allauddin Khilji, Nadir Shah, Ahmad Shah Abdali plundered India. Now Kandahar belongs to the much ferocious enemy’s camp and India is weakening. It is also irrecoverable. Diplomacy can change the situation but there is not much hope in the given geo-political situation.

One does not know whether the present General Election will make a stronger or a weaker Government. Chances of emergence of a weaker Government cannot be ruled out. Whether it is an attack on Parliament, J&K or Mumbai, we have never retaliated. Rather, sympathetic signals have emanated from the Government. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on record, told that Pakistan is also a victim of terrorism. The fact remains that Pakistan is an epi-centre of terrorism.

One cannot say with certainty what role ISI is playing viz-a-viz local terrorist or the Taliban. At times it seems that Pakistan too is a victim of terrorism but the situation in Pak Military and ISI indicates that terrorist breeding centres have spread over large parts of the country. At best one can conclude that Pakistan is a chaotic State and terrorists strike there at will. It is becoming more and more ungovernable but there is no change in animosity towards India. Rather it is increasing. Fundamentalists in Military and ISI are ruling Pakistan.

The new US President Barack Obama unveiled a new comprehensive strategy to fight war against terror. It is targeting Afghanistan rather than Pakistan, the epi-centre of terrorism. Afghanistan, at best, can provide sanctuary to terrorists but Pakistan is even more ahead. It maintains a large army, sophisticated weapons, trained human resources and has clearer vision as well as diplomatic skills. Afghanistan is not at all comparable with Pakistan. America is trying to divide Taliban into extremists and moderates. This strategy is not likely to work and it would give an advantage to Pakistan. If the US wants to exit from Afghanistan, there may be better options. The Bush administration had a clear vision, though it may have been considered inhuman. It committed a blunder in attacking Iraq.

It is too early to be judgmental on President Obama’s strategy but initial symptoms are obvious. Escalation of war in Afghanistan may turn out to be far more dangerous. Maybe it is the demand of US strategic needs but the ground situation is pregnant with far more dangerous consequences. War near India is harmful to Indian peace and tranquility. The terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore is symptomatic of the gravity of the situation. The terrorist attack on the Police Training School at Manawan, Lahore which is merely 12 Kms from India’s border, is even more grave. One can imagine the dangers such terrorist activities pose on the Indian side of the border. Just last week Obama made a statement that the futures of Pakistan and Afghanistan are linked. Diplomats world over are discussing and interpreting these words.

The west side of Sindhu is the place where the historic volcano erupted and many invaders came to India via-this route. India has witnessed the devastation for about 5,000 years. Geo-politics of this area is an important factor in the long history of India. Muslim invaders also used this route and area. It seems that the US is playing with fire and to the detriment of Indian interests in this part of the globe.

Whatever the Government of Pakistan may say, the fact remains that the Jihadi cult is increasing there every day. The propagandists of Pakistan try to deny the Hate-India campaign continuously going on in Pakistan. One Indian High Commissioner who was visiting his Pakistani friend’s house met a small child who ran away uttering “Hindu dog, Hindu dog.” In yet another example, when an Indian General visited a Pakistani School, 60 per cent of the students knew about F-16 fighter aircraft bombing New Delhi. The mindset of growing children in Pakistan is full with Hate-India syndrome. So whatever may be the diplomacy and talks, Pakistan’s anti-India mindset is unlikely to change. The situation in Pakistan is so chaotic that nuclear weapons may fall in the hands of fundamentalists. Given the changing political and violent disturbed scenario it is not unthinkable. Think of the situation of nuclear weapons of Pakistan falling in the hands fundamentalists. A devastating situation may develop in SE Asia.

In a grave situation like this if the Parliamentary Election throws a fragmented and weaker Government in India, Jihadi fundamentalists-controlled nuclear weapon State of Pakistan can destroy India. The need of the hour is a strong Government in New Delhi. But as things are moving there is little chance of emergence of a strong Government. Coalition Governments are generally weak unless there is a very strong leadership.