Not a spoilt child, but indeed a rogue nation
After the British left India on August 15, 1947, as a last pot-shot, they divided India into two parts – the predominant non-Muslims part was called India and the majority of Muslim-dominated areas were named Pakistan – the idea of which was floated by the Muslim fundamentalists. When the Constitution of India was framed, it made India into a secular state, though the partition of the country was done on the basis of Muslims and non-Muslims. This led to the bloodshed of 50 million non-Muslims, who were forced to migrate from Pakistan. It included my late grandfather Natha Singh and my father Mahant Kartar Singh, my mother Lajwanti and my two sisters (the killing two of my great-grandmothers did not matter to the framers of the Constitution) who were forced to migrate almost in the clothes they were wearing.
It may look short-sighted at present, but this was the biggest sign of liberalism and it showed that India treated all alike as Indians and not only as Hindus and Muslims.
Pakistan, in its first attack on Kashmir, put all the blame on tribal Muslims. If this argument is accepted even now, how could Pakistan’s citizens from far-flung areas be guided into Kashmir, without the active support of the their Government? Successive Governments in India, except the present one, treated Pakistan as a spoilt child, who will realise its follies and rectify itself. This situation exactly fits the ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ . So far, India has been pampering Pakistan, despite its victories. Pakistan has been using religion in India, to create inter-religious trouble and Hindu and Muslim tensions through the Inter-Services Intelligence and the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). It is worthwhile to note that nearly one-third of the Muslim population of British India remained in India after the partition of India.
The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2016, published by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), found that 29,376 people died from terrorism in 2015, According to it, India, last year, had the highest number of attacks since 2000. Since independence in 1947, India and Pakistan have been in four wars, including an undeclared one, and many border skirmishes and military stand-offs. The Kashmir issue has been the main cause, whether direct or indirect, of all major conflicts between the two countries – with the exception of the India-Pakistani war of 1971, where the conflict originated due to turmoil in the erstwhile East Pakistan, which resulted in the formation of Bangladesh.
The war of 1971 was unique in the way that it did not involve the issue of Kashmir, but was rather precipitated by the crisis created by the political battle brewing in East Pakistan and the western part of that country. This culminated in the formation of Bangladesh. Following the Pakistani atrocities on the people in East Pakistan, 10 million Bengalis in the region took refuge in neighbouring India. India retaliated, first demanding an end to the atrocities and then launching an military offensive.
The Indian Army quickly responded to the Pakistan Army’s movements in the west and made some initial gains, including capturing around 5,795 square miles (15,010 km) of Pakistani territory (land gained by India in Pakistani Kashmir, Pakistani Punjab and Sind. This war saw the highest number of casualties in any of the India-Pakistan conflicts, as well as the largest number of prisoners of war, when 90,000 Pakistan Army and civilians surrendered. In the words of one Pakistani author, “Pakistan lost half its Navy, a quarter of its Air Force and a third of its Army.” I, like millions of other Indians, was foxed as to why Indira Gandhi surrendered in 1972 to Pakistan in the agreement at Simla. This was the best opportunity to make Pakistan a lame-duck nation. It has been rightly said that, those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat.
As per a newspaper report, the return of Pakistani prisoners of war without conditions, was done as a gesture of goodwill. But the magnanimity gave an impression to Pakistan that India was a weak nation that does not the courage to even exploit its gains, let alone retaliate. Not only have there been conflicts later, but Pakistan has been using terrorists attacks to demoralise India, despite India being generous in returning its territory and 90,000 prisoners of war.
Despite being thrashed, Pakistan has been repeatedly using terrorists to attack Indians on Indian soil, to damage the social fabric of this nation, and desecrate the bodies of our soldiers. Such a nation does not deserve any mercy. Traitors of this country, meanwhile, deserve only the death sentence, or at the very least a life sentence, rather than a couple of years behind bars, after which they are out on bail. As the recent Bhopal jail-break incident showed, the accused were hardened criminals who had repeatedly got away. They had killed a police Head Constable. There were several other attacks too by them. Eventually they were gunned down.
(The writer is former Director, Central Bureau of Investigation)