Despite the relentless attacks on Indian soil and its citizens, sponsored and initiated by Pakistan’s deep state for the past quarter century, there has been an absence of an information strategy to deal with Pakistan’s design to bleed India endlessly. Whereas the Pakistani narrative, promoted by Pakistan’s military led propaganda against India has left no stone unturned to show that the Pakistan army’s primary role is to counter India’s hegemony, India has done little to address the Pakistani narrative by adopting a more aggressive counter-information strategy to put to rest the fears created amongst Pakistanis – by the slick anti India propaganda of their army – that India is poised to undo the process of partition and absorb all of Pakistan! This argument could’ve been countered decades ago, with the assertion that India has enough problems of its own, for it to absorb a faction-ridden Pakistan. More recently, as the fallout at the death of Burhan Wani has shown, our leadership was paralysed into inaction by Pak sponsored anti-India propaganda specially through social media, even though we boast of being an IT-knowledge super power!
Secondly, at the diplomatic level, we have been far too accommodative to Pakistan’s lies and propaganda, preferring to look the other way when Pakistan’s diplomats have been going hammer and tongs at every possible platform to show India as the aggressor in Kashmir. Few Indians know that Pakistan’s army has made the Pakistani public believe that it was India that had set out to occupy all of Kashmir in 1947, and even though Pakistan intervened later, it managed to take back a third of J&K before it was forced into a cease fire! Or leading Pakistanis into believing that 1965 was a war they had won, since India was too decent in not asserting its claims of greater gains in that conflict. And despite the humiliating surrender of the Pakistani army in Dacca in 1971, Pakistanis have been made to believe that they were let down on that front by some incompetent generals and Bengali treachery; whereas on India’s western front in the 1971 war, Pakistan had a resounding victory (once again, with nothing to show on the ground)! More recently, India’s inability to rub the nose of Pakistani generals in the snows of the high Himalayas by remaining silent about tremendous achievements of our soldiers in Siachen, has led the Pakistani army to claim that they are on the glacier, when in reality they never got there in the first place. And now, by keeping silent about the evidence of the surgical strikes, India has missed another opportunity to expose the limitations of the Pakistan army to the world in general and the Pakistani people in particular.
Finally, the most pressing challenge for any Indian government has been Pakistan’s obsession to wean Kashmir away from India by using every possible tool in its possession. And Pakistan’s army has made Kashmir the corner stone of its existence as articulated in several publications including the Pakistan army’s Green Book. India on its part has been reluctant to expose Pakistan’s wrongdoings from nurturing terror groups- which Pakistan has refused to confront, seeing them as assets, despite the onslaught of terror attacks within Pakistan – to pushing in thousands of armed terrorists to keep Kashmir on the boil. New Delhi’s assumption that the Shimla accord is the answer to resolving all bilateral issues,even though Pakistan has long since abandoned it as the only basis for negotiation, has led to an Indian reluctance to name and shame Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism at international forums. While one could understand Congress led UPA government’s obsession to follow this line because Mrs. Gandhi had only the Shimla Accord to show after Zulfikar Bhutto tricked her into freeing over 90,000 POWs, it is difficult to comprehend why the BJP led government is following the same line. Only fools and those living in delusion, reinforce failures.
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