India's love affair with Pakistan

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After PM Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Gilani’s historic meeting in Egypt the joint press release stated that composite dialogue should not be linked to terrorism. It is one more climb down by India who had consistently maintained that the talks could not take place till the perpetrators of 26/11/ crime were punished.

After the Mumbai train blasts of 2006, India refused to talk to Pakistan but in a turnaround similar to that in Sharm el-Sheikh, agreed to resume foreign secretary-level talks when Musharraf met Singh in Havana.

Perhaps Indian Prime Ministers should not attend NAM summits because the environment makes them forgetful and forgiving.

India nearly went to war with Pakistan after the 2001 attack on Parliament. Talks were suspended only to resume in end 2003.

Grouped under three categories, here is a quick recap of what the Pakis have done to India since 1947.  First the four Indo-Pak wars:
 • On 22/10/1947 the Pakistan Army headquarters informed Delhi that 5,000 tribesmen had captured Muzzaffarabad and were moving towards Srinagar. Even as the military operations were going on Nehru made efforts to convince Pakistan to cease assistance to the raiders. Having failed to receive a response, on 1/1/1948, Nehru brought to the notice of the UN Security Council. A cease-fire became effective on 1/1/1949.

 • Pakistan gifted 4,853 sq kms of Kashmiri territory in the Shaksgam Valley to China in 1963. This was used to construct the Karakoram Highway that today connects China to Pakistan’s Gwadar port in Baluchistan.

 • India’s second war started with the Kutch episode in April 1965. From July 1965 Pakistan started sending a mixture of military personnel and infiltrators. By August 1965 most of these infiltrators had been rounded up. On 1/9/1965, the Paki army attacked southern J & K with intent of capturing the road link between Jammu and Rajouri. Meanwhile Indian troops moved into Punjab. Fighting continued till Bhutto accepted a UN sponsored cease fire proposal on 22/9/1965. The cease fire was followed by the Tashkent Declaration in early 1966.

 • India’s third war started over East Pakistan but the battle was fought in Kashmir and Punjab as well. A formal surrender took place at Dacca on 16/12/1971. India took 93,000 prisoners of war. Bhutto agreed that the Kashmir issue would be resolved; Line of Control be gradually converted into an international border but requested Mrs Gandhi to avoid putting it in the Agreement. He needed to manage public opinion back home. Commitments to India were not met but Bhutto’s assurance got 93,000 POW released.

 • The Kargil war came months after Vajpayee’s peace drive to Lahore in 1998. India drove out the Pakis at a huge cost.

Smarting against successive defeats the Pakis realized the futility of a conventional war and decided that the best way to make India bleed was through Low Intensity Conflict.
• First was Punjab. Starting 1972, Bhutto began supporting pro-Khalistani elements. The Khalistan movement was supported with arms and money. It resulted in a regrettable Operation Blue Star in 1984, a bloody war between terrorists and the Indian Army. During those horrible days in North India (1982-1994) Sikh terrorists killed thousands of Hindus and Sikhs with direct and tactical support from Pakistan.
What did Pakistan achieve?One, it stalled development activity in a key border state. Two it alienated Punjabi Sikhs from the Indian state. Three, it cemented the rift between Punjabi Monas (Hindus) and Punjabi Sardars the seeds of which were sown by the British Click here.

• Second was Jammu & Kashmir. Lust for power and rigging of the 1987 state elections by the Congress/National Conference alienated the Valley’s Muslims and provided Pakistan with a perfect launch pad for Jihad in J&K in 1989. It had achieved nuclear capability by then. With the Soviets out of Afghanistan its western flank was covered enabling it to focus on J&K. In 1990 over 3 lakh Kashmiri Pandits fled the Valley never to return since. The Pandit relief camps say it all.

Since then thousands of Indians have lost their lives in Pakistan sponsored violence in J&K not to forget Amarnath yatris. There were numerous attacks on Jammu’s revered Raghunath Mandir.

If you doubt Pakistan’s support to terrorism in J&K see pictures of Arms seized from Kashmiri militants Click Here.

What did Pakistan achieve? It alienated the population of another border state. More importantly it has tied down the Indian Army to J&K. It has also resulted in high casualties in the Army, soldiers fighting a war, without a war being declared. One might not admit it but casualties in J&K have accentuated the shortage of Army Officers. After all, losing your son or husband in War would be a matter of pride but being killed by a landmine or by terrorists may not!

According to a White Paper prepared by the Home Ministry, the Cost of ISI terror between 1988-1998 was:

Nature of Cost / Loss Value
1. Expenditure on Internal security Rs 64,500 crs
2. Civilians killed 29,151
3. Security men killed 5,101
4. Rendered homeless 2,78,000
5. Weapons smuggled in 61,900
6. Indians hired by ISI 19,000
7. Pak/foreign militants sent into India 7,125
Lastly relentless support to terror attacks against India.
• As part of this strategy Pakistan decided to cultivate Indian Muslims with the help of Dawood Ibrahim. Thus it supported Mumbai’s March 1993 bomb blasts (257 dead 713 injured), the 2002 attacks on Akshardham temple Gandhidham (34 dead) amongst others.
• We can gloat over Pakistan’s defeat in Kargil but can one forget India’s humiliation during the Kandhar hijack episode of 1999? Imagine your nation’s Foreign Minister escorting terrorists to enemy territory?
• Post September 2001 Pakistan was under fire for support to terrorism. It needed to divert attention from it. What better way than to shift focus to India. Burning of kar sevaks alive was the handiwork of those who were pawns in Pakistan’s hands. The subsequent riots shifted focus to India. To know how Godhra helped Pakistan read article by Col Anil Athale ‘Did Godhra save Pakistan’. Click here.
• 2001 attack on Parliament (11 dead 30 injured).
• 2003 Bomb blasts at Mumbai’s Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar. (52 killed 149 injured).
• July 2006 train blasts in Mumbai (209 dead 1400 injured).
• 26/11/2008 terror attacks in Mumbai attacks. (186 killed 300 injured).