The game-plan was to ramp up tensions in Kashmir, Pakistan capitalised on the gunning down of Burhan Wani , a known terrorist, instigated the separatists to disrupt peace in Kashmir and kept the valley on the boil.
Before India could fathom the extent of the backlash, the situation spiralled out of control.
The desperate scramble by the Indian establishment to control the fallout failed repeatedly. Efforts to engage with the hawkish separatists in a dialogue ( which was never an option for the Govt earlier) failed .
To make matters worse, the pellet guns did more harm than good and helped the separatists to drum up more support for their cause.
The Indian media, in the name of ‘Free Speech’ went overboard, repeatedly highlighting the casualties, pellet injuries and the so called excesses of security forces, literally becoming Pakistan’s PR’s.
A divided opposition did little to mitigate the situation.
The Pakistanis were gleefully patting their backs on the success of their ‘K’ plot. They set rolling the diplomatic offensive to highlight Kashmir on the World stage. With a ‘spring in his step’ and a ‘evil glint in his eye’ , Nawaz Sharif departed for US to address the UNGA to shamelessly raise a bilateral issue on a multilateral forum.
In their zeal to further jack up tensions in Kashmir they, in my opinion, committed a blunder targeting Uri Army Base and ruthlessly massacring sleeping Jawans. As a result, their game-plan that was playing out as per script went haywire. The momentum that was theirs, suddenly swung in India’s favour.
For months, India that had its back to the wall, now has a opportunity to hit back at Pakistan. The voice of the separatists that was reverberating in the valley is now lost in the din of Uri fury.
The way ahead..
India should adopt a multi pronged strategy:
FIRSTLY isolate Pakistan diplomatically (I don’t want to elaborate on the endless blah-blah as to how it’s to be done ).
SECONDLY , India has to aggressively clampdown on the separatists and anti-nationals in the valley. The morale of the security forces needs to be given a boost.
THIRDLY India has to pursue covert OPs with renewed vigour. Fund and arm the Baloch , Sindi’s and Kashmiri’s in POK to destabilise Pakistan. Highlight their plight internationally.
FOURTHLY and most IMPORTANTLY ‘disrupt the Sino- Pak economic corridor’ that passes through POK and Baluchistan . The corridor is vital to Pakistan’s economy, with American aid drying up, Pakistan is dependent on China to revive it’s fortunes. China, in turn, banks on the corridor to access the Indian ocean to sustain it’s economic growth. Without this corridor China will lose interest in Pakistan.
NIX this corridor to hit back at Pakistan economically.
End word :
A rapidly growing India has everything to lose if it goes to WAR , whereas Pakistan, which is already in doldrums and which is ruled by Hotheads has nothing to lose.
SENSIBLE to rule out WAR as an option..
Pic Credit: qz.com
Author Mr. Narasimhan OSL is a consultant for Auto-LPG based in Hyderabad. He has interest in current affairs, likes to read a lot and write a bit.