From the way things are going, we will end up more deep in the hole. Look at how the odds are staked against us- we helped do that in the first place. The first knee jerk reaction was to ask for the ISI chief to be sent to India. Pakistan at the end of the day is a separate country- it was but obvious that with the finger pointing towards them, the domestic constituency including the general public and more importantly the defacto power centers- the army and the ISI could not let this happen. So India was snubbed, when Pakistan said it would not send the Che if.
Our strategy planners made a mistake in asking for him to be sent for they should have anticipated that in all probability that would not happen. So then came the next action- for every response has to be countered with another response by New Delhi. So Pranab dusts the old file and hands over the list of those 20 most wanted to Pakistan. Are the strategy planners so naive to believe that Pakistan will hand them over. The very compulsions that are making the Indian government act i.e., Public opinion are also in play in Pakistan. And add to that the huge influence of the Army and the ISI. The list was not new, the response would also not be different. Any reasonably smart babu sitting in North Block would have anticipated the Pakistani response. And Pranab was snubbed again.
Now the best part- India would have anticipated such a response and for which it would have prepared the next step. It is like a game of chess. You anticipate the response and are prepared with a counter. But was India playing a true game of chess or just blindly playing one move at a time? The tragedy seems that Manmohan and company are playing one move at a time, not a calculated and strategic end game. For in my viewpoint there seems to be no end game- Pakistan snubs us in our moves, US gives lip service and we are kept in limbo. The camps carry on, public opinion dies down with time, relations are strained and we keep on waiting for another Mumbai to happen. For somebody rightfully said, terrorism cannot be tackled with a Fortress mentality. It need to be taken out at its source- recruiting and financing and training bases.
Everybody keeps on talking about how the US has not been attacked since 9/11. We tend to forget that one of the reasons for that was that the US has taken the war away from its soil to where the terrorists are holed up. Maybe its time we tried to do that- the dangers and risks are many- but then did we let them enter Kargil without fighting back afraid of starting a full scale war? For its time to act. That seems to be the most likely endgame or as said earlier- we are sinking into a more deeper and darker hole.
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