Pakistan has bared its fangs towards its larger and overly indulgent neighbour for the nth time. Many, including some in India’s security establishment, had predicted no matter how much one reaches out to them, nothing will change as long as the Deep State (the army, ISI and their terror tanzeems) rules the roost in Pakistan. India again succumbed to its neighbour’s machinations, thanks to the naïveté of the Indian establishment.
PM Narendra Modi’s supposed master stroke in diplomacy by making an unscheduled stopover in Lahore to felicitate his counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his birthday was reciprocated by the attack in Pathankot within a week. More intriguing was India’s decision to allow a Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT) into the airbase – something like asking a thief to investigate his own theft!
This gesture met with no success as the JIT, reportedly leaked views hardly accurate or palatable to the Indian side. It appears they alleged India attacked its own base – absurdity bordering on insanity as far as this insinuation is concerned.
On Thursday, Pakistan’s high commissioner to New Delhi Abdul Basit took it upon himself to unilaterally announce the “suspension” of dialogue between the two nations. Discomfiture to India could not be more pronounced, when India has gone out of its way to accommodate Pakistan’s concerns. Presumably, Pakistan’s Deep State exercised its veto power on dealing with India!
India must carry out a reality check for its policy towards its belligerent, terror-exporting neighbour. Modi must come out forcefully in warning Pakistan that there are limits to India’s patience and large-heartedness. It must be conveyed to Pakistan that India is prepared to answer all its provocations and Pakistan better desist from its evil ways for we are in full knowledge of its many fault-lines.
Let us keep engagements with Pakistan to the barest minimum and downgrade our diplomatic representation. We do not need Pakistan anyway. Importantly, India will have to influence the US not to play games with us as regards its terrorist protégé Pakistan.
(The author is a retired lieutenant general who was the first chief of the Defence Intelligence Agency.)