Through his magnum opus ‘Julius Caesar’, Shakespeare perpetuated a tragic event in Roman history into an eternal superstition of the Ides of March portending ominous happenings. India too can boast of a million indigenous superstitions of ancient heritage. Nevertheless, the current security scenario in the Indian subcontinent must propel us to be more watchful.
Notwithstanding the overly macho anti-Pakistan campaign in 2014 by the current dispensation, the compulsions of fostering good neighbouring relations appear to have overwhelmed the Indian government. But the truism that the quest for peace is not a one way alley escapes some when in power.
It is unquestionable that PM Narendra Modi and his advisers have gone all out to drill some sense into the Pakistani establishment. Regrettably, they appear to have overlooked continuing Pakistani intransigence manifested in firing violations across the Line of Control and the International Border, increasing insurgency in J&K, terrorist assaults in Dinanagar and Gurdaspur in 2015 and the audacious but unsuccessful attack on the Pathankot air base in January. If this attack destroyed some IAF helicopters, it would have certainly led to a warlike situation. The recent discovery of a deep tunnel in the RS Pura sector, near Jammu, indicates that Pakistani security forces are still encouraging infiltration of terrorists into India.
In Afghanistan there have been repeated terror attacks on the Jalalabad and Kandahar Indian consulates worsening the security scenario. The Indian government has to factor in all these aspects when contemplating its security policy. Inexplicably, the terror attack by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists on the Indian consulate in Jalalabad on March 2 resulting in nine dead and 19 injured and damage to the chancery has not invited adequate Indian ire or condemnation. Hamid Karzai, former president of Afghanistan, said during the recent Raisina Dialogue that “they (read Pakistanis) are simply attacking India’s presence in Afghanistan… the whole spectrum of Indo Afghan relations, the relationship itself is the target of attacks.”
And the Pakistanis have now bowled a googly to India by sharing some ‘intelligence inputs’ about the alleged entry of 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists into India for attacks during the ‘Maha Shivaratri’ celebrations. One must not be cynical about everything but we need to ask them, while expressing our gratitude, why the Pakistanis did not act and arrest them? As is universally known, the lines of State and non-State terror actors in Pakistan are blurred with both complementing each other. It is further hoped that Pakistan’s investigation team, ostensibly endeavouring to assist in the Pathankot probe, is not taken inside the air base.
As India, once again, gives peace and Pakistan another chance, it must remain on guard. Pakistan must know that as India wishes it well, it also must not keep testing New Delhi’s patience for we are able enough to exploit its many fault lines which we have desisted from doing so far.
Kamal Davar was the first chief of the Defence Intelligence Agency. The views expressed are personal