For decades since its painful birth, Pakistan practiced the art and science of propaganda and doggedly followed the principle of repeating a lie to make it sound like the truth. India on the other hand, mostly not only failed over those decades to counter Pakistan’s lies but also failed to highlight a lot of truths, which would have worked well for its own security and standing in the world.
India was partitioned and trifurcated by the British with a definite aim of creating a neighbour of India, which would remain loyal to Britain and as its ploy in the Great Game then, prevent the spread of Russian influence. Kashmir was also expected to be included in West Pakistan by having it gobbled in the garb of it being attacked by tribals. India’s Governor General and Indian and Pakistani army chiefs then were still British. Unfortunately for the British and Pakistan, the princely state of Kashmir’s then ruler seceded to India. And ironically, much later after Pakistan’s second war waged against India in 1965, the Russians/USSR became India’s greatest strategic ally providing it with over 70 percent of its much needed weapons and equipment.
Independent India’s political founding fathers-most of them under its then head, worked hard at suppressing important facts, which after the declassification of British archives in 1998, are available and of great importance to India in the context of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan. ‘Unravelling the Kashmir Knot’, by Aman Hingorani (Sage) is an apt trail-blazer.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s opening of the Balochistan account and a reference- albeit brief- to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) on Independence Day this year is a long overdue master stroke, irrespective of what his chronic critics say. The followup by visuals of Pakistan’s suppression of POK and interviews of Brahumdagh Bugti in the media, with Baluch protests spreading to London, Germany etc, statements by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani during his recent visit to India and statements from Bangladesh of Pakistan’s role in destabilising both nations, all have been very impactful in further exposing and isolating Pakistan.
Alongside, the U.S. helped by providing proof confirming that the 02 January 2016 terrorist attack at Pathankot airbase emanated from Pakistan. US informed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) that the IP addresses of Facebook accounts of Jaish-e-Mohammed ( JeM) handlers who masterminded the attack and the IP address of its financial wing Al Rahmat Trust’s website. Also revealed were Facebook groups accessed by friends of JeM handler Kashif Jaan, with photographs of the four killed terrorists, Nasir Hussain, Hafiz Abu Bakar, Umar Farooq and Abdul Qayum. It was also reported in media that the global terrorist wanted in India for orchestrating the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai, Dawood Ibrahim, whose extradition India has sought from Pakistan, is confirmed as residing in Pakistan, after the United Nations approved six of his addresses provided to it by India.
After the dastardly terrorist attack by Pakistani terrorists on the Army in Uri on 18 September, killing 18 Indian soldiers, while there is an unprecedented groundswell of public opinion for a prompt punitive response on ground, PM Modi has so far launched a major psychological warfare campaign. Reaching out to the Pakistani public by differentiating between them and their government, Mr.Modi said the “anger” in India over the Uri attack “symbolises our national consciousness” and “I will just reiterate… that the guilty will certainly be punished”. On his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio programme, he said: “The country is proud of its Army. Citizens and politicians get many opportunities to speak, and do speak. The Army does not speak, the Army takes action, shows its prowess.”
The Army had stated that it will react on the ground at a time and place of its choosing. That moment came on 29 September, when the Army struck at a number of terrorist camps across the LoC. For the first time also, there is talk about strategic options, involving rivers flowing through both the countries. At the United Nations General Assembly, a haunted looking PM Nawaz Sharif mouthed lies and glorified terrorists, whereas India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was confident, correct and assertive.
India’s diplomatic deluge must be sustained and the declassified British archives must be made best use of, but as this writer has concluded umpteen times, India must develop its political will to covertly and cunningly catch or kill Pakistan’s hate and terror mongers.