And it was perfectly captured in a statement of Ravi Shankar
Prasad, senior minister in the Narendra Modi government who said that after the
Uri attack, relation with Pakistan would never be like it was - that the
India-Pakistan ties would never be same again.
In spite of all the rhetoric and jingoism about going to war
with Pakistan, nothing of that sort is going to happen. It reflected in the
statement delivered this evening by Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh, Director General of
Military Operation (DGMO), Indian Army, when he said, "We reserve the
right to respond at the time and place of our choosing. We have desired
capability to respond to such blatant acts of aggression and violence as deemed
appropriate by us."
Yes, war is not a solution or logical option. India is
militarily and economically far ahead than Pakistan. In fact, there is no
comparison. But then we cannot forget the fact that Pakistan is a nuclear
power. And when a poor and backward nation like North Korea can act with
audacity based on its newly acquired nuclear deterrent, why would not Pakistan do
so? And there has been a precedent. Even on the slightest pretext, Pakistan's
politicians go full throttle on nuclear war mongering against India.
So, the best way forward is to clip Pakistan's wings
indirectly - something like Indira Gandhi had done before the war that
liberated Bangladesh in 1971.
Neither war. Nor peace!
Before the 1971 war, Indira Gandhi had gone on and sent her
colleagues and bureaucrats on a global diplomatic offensive. It was a three
pronged strategy. On one hand, the Indian Army was preparing for a war
offensive to infiltrate and take over Bangladesh, while at the same time, she
was busy promoting India's stand as a peace loving country that wanted to avoid
war with Pakistan.
The outcome of this diplomatic offensive, the most important
element of her strategy, was the culmination of global support for India, when
after a first desperate strike by Pakistan, India rushed its forces to the
erstwhile East Pakistan that soon resulted in birth of a new nation -
Bangladesh. So efficiently was Indira Gandhi's handling then that even after
the vehement US resistance, India was able to do what Indira had wanted it to
do. The external threat and resistance that could have come from countries like
US or China was effectively mitigated by winning confidence of the larger world
India needs a global diplomatic offensive like that. But can
Narendra Modi and his government do that?
Yes, there is intent, like Ravi Shankar Prasad summed up, that
it can never again be the same walk with Pakistan. The hostilities have gone on
a new high and the overall ties are at a historic low.
But can they walk the talk?
United Nations General Assembly is in session and its
principal event, the Annual General Debate, is beginning tomorrow. Pakistan has
shouted over the top in telling the world community that it would draw the
global attention from the UN platforms towards so called Indian atrocities and
human rights violations in Kashmir.