Though Pakistan's new army chief
Gen Bajwa, after taking the charge yesterday, said the situation along the Line
of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan would be normal soon, indicating a
softer approach than his predecessor, developments say otherwise.
The day, when Lt. Gen. Qamar
Javed Bajwa took baton from the outgoing Pakistan army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif,
7 Indian soldiers including two officials were martyred in a terror attack on
an army unit near Jammu.
The attack that began early morning,
lasted for some 14 hours, saw fierce gunbattle and a hostage like situation
with terrorists targeting army officials' mess and residential units in
Nagrota, near Indian Army's 16 Corps Headquarters.
As expected, ugly politics over
the issue has pitched in. Political goalposting has started. Debates and
opinions are raging on 'whys and hows' of this attack that is clearly an
intelligence failure but, at the outset, it is clear that it will be linked
with Gen. Raheel Sharif's parting warning to India and Gen. Bajwa ascendance to
While transferring power to Gen.
Bajwa, Raheel Sharif warned India of its stand on Kashmir, comparing it with
'increased terrorism and aggression'. He said, "India should know that
mistaking our policy of patience for weakness would be dangerous."
We all know that is an empty
rhetoric, especially after the fact that the all powerful army of Pakistan had
no other option left but to deny the highly successful surgical strike by India
deep inside Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir. The Pakistan Army could not have
accepted the Indian surgical strike as it would undermine the numero-uno
position it enjoys in Pakistan, presenting its weaker character before everyone
– whereas Raheel Sharif had curated a ‘hero sort of image’ for himself – riding
high on anti-India acts and rhetoric.
Also, doing so, as the Pakistani
civilian leadership had done initially, accepting India's claim till the army
told them to toe the its line of shameless denial, would have put tremendous
pressure on the Pakistani army to reply back to India with similar force, that
it was simply not capable of.
But what presents a clear face of
danger is Pakistan's proxy war in India. Almost all terror attacks in any part
of India are found to have Pakistani links. If Jammu & Kashmir, that was
once considered heaven on earth, has become a living hell, it is because of
Pakistan's proxy war only.
It is this proxy war that
Pakistan has adopted as the mainstay of its policy. Raheel Sharif actively extended
that tradition. And whatever Pakistan’s
military does, its civilian government has to follow that – willingly or unwillingly.
So, even if we were yet to hear a
word about India from its next army chief, Pakistan’s spin doctors, its
politicians, were already on the job. So Sartaj Aziz had said that any dialogue
process cannot go ahead with India unless Kashmir is on the table, a prospect
that India has officially denied, saying if there has to be India-Pakistan
dialogue, it will be on terror only. So Pakistan’s defence minister Khawaja
Asif had said there will be no change in Pakistan’s military policy on Indian
border under Gen. Bajwa.
Even if Pakistan’s new army chief
Gen. Bajwa is yet to speak on his thoughts on India. Whatever little he spoke
yesterday didn’t give much – but at least, from that little - we can give him
the benefit of doubt – this that cowardly
act, targeting residential units of an Indian army base, was a parting shot by
a frustrated Raheel Sharif, who, despite all his tall claims and boastings,
would have to live forever with the fact that it was during his tenure only
that India conducted a surgical strike and owned it before the world.