Monday, September 14, 2009

The Narasimha Rao Formula

India's CCS (Cabinet Committee on Security) has its hands full these days dealing with the western neighbor.

In the case of India-Pakistan, history repeats itself. India is unable to shake off the Pakistani shadow and Pakistan simply loves to needle its neighbor, with admirable success I must add.

The recent article by Jawed Naqvi from the Dawn (Is India really a big nation, which behaves small?), asking India to act its size meaning large hearted, is well written but impractical. Its the Gujral doctrine rehashed. While the Gujral doctrine could work with India's other neighbors (sans China), it will not work with Pakistan.

I dont know if the Pakistani security establishment is pulling a fast one on its own media, but what else can I say when they (the Pak media) fall hook line and sinker to their Information Minister's oft repeated line posing as a victim & an anti-terror warrior. Its akin to Bill Clinton preaching morality lessons.

So all this talk of large heartedness and magnanimity is a waste of time.

During the Prime Ministership of Shri Narasimha Rao (remember him!), India went into a low key mode for its relations with Pakistan. While regular Foreign Secretary level talks kept happening, nothing much came out of it in the end. There was no high pitch sabre rattling or hu-ha press releases. Everything was in silent mode.

Its time the CCS took a leaf out of this but with a twist.

Draw up a long time table of secretary level meetings without an agenda. Then work out a limited proportional retaliatory strategy which can be triggered on very short notice when a massive terror attack takes place. This could be ranging from taking out a few enemy posts to lobbing rockets over to surgical cross border stabs. Now, ofcourse this will not go unanswered for which we need to be prepared.

Any such punitive retaliation from India will immediately bring the US right in. And we should count on this. The US should simply be told that this self-defense action will stop when terror emanating from Pakistan stops. The US wouldn't want its battle on Pak's western front disturbed or diluted would it!?

In all this commotion, continue the agendaless meaningless secretary level talks.

The only language Pakistan understands is a bloody nose. Its about time we gave some.

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