No direct military action against Pakistan

And this is not the time for irresponsible talk

Direct military strikes against Pakistan in retaliation for the terrorist attack on Mumbai are not in India’s interests. [See these posts] There is little chance of that happening. So voluble souls like NDTV’s Barkha Dutt must just shut up, to put it politely. The TV media has already displayed its mindlessness and lack of maturity in the irresponsible and insensitive manner in which it covered the anti-terrorist operations.

It risks doing far more damage by giving play to unfounded rumours, which could well be misinterpreted as the Indian government’s intentions. Such reports play into the hands of the Pakistani military establishment that is looking for half-an-excuse to get out of the difficult job of fighting the Taliban and Al-Qaeda along Pakistan’s Western frontier.

29 thoughts on “No direct military action against Pakistan”

  1. Why do you think the likes of Burkha Dutt say these things even if they know fully well it’s not going to happen?

    “Such reports play into the hands of the Pakistani military establishment…”

    They are simply doing their perceived job…

  2. What is this blog post in response to? That low-life on NDTV is unlikely to call for direct military action against Pakistan, so I’m surprised.

  3. Oldtimer,

    I don’t watch TV. I received information from two people who do, who called me even as the show was in progress to say that Barkha Dutt has announced a “scoop”, that GOI plans to break the ceasefire and do another Parakram.

    Will put up the link if I find it.

    Btw, MEA has apparently issued a note denying that such things are in the works.

  4. It was only after the unfortunate death of Mr. JN Dixit in 2005 that the Indian foreign policy was formally and completely outsourced to these few studios of some english media houses. Since then, we have had fools, knaves, idiots and charlatans dictating our foreign policy and external affairs.

    It is true that some men, once dead or killed, are irreplaceable.

  5. @Old Timer,
    The West and the Pakistanis seem to be invoking the memory of Operation Parakram to stoke up their fears that India would again build up troops on the border. As I recall, Operation Parakram was a big fizzle, because India never did anything with it, and instead pulled back yet again.

    Let’s face it — there’s not much we can do, except live behind barred doors and windows, waiting for the next such attack to happen again.
    By allowing Pakistan to gain a nuclear shield from which it can safely strike from behind, we have permanently left ourselves open to perpetual attack.

    This problem has happened on Congress’ watch, and it they bear the moral culpability for it. They have to be voted out of power, and their reckless ideology has to be given the boot.

  6. I fully agree. The moment Pakistan operationalised its Nuclear facility we lost the conventional superiority we had over them. Now both of us are equals. Any war with Pakistan will have to per force reckon with this.

    I recall reading in the India Today (it was so many years ago, the details may not be correct, but the substance is) that Israel offered to bomb out the facility and asked for permission to overfly the Indian territory. Rajiv Gandhi not only refused but rang up Zia and told him about the offer and his refusal. We shd have bombed it out and never allowed them this parity. We are now permanently bound head and foot. And an Islamic bomb to boot, bankrolled by Saudi Arabia, in the hands of easily excitable heads.

    It’s our misfortune we have had leaders with remarkable naivete and lotus eaters with head in the clouds. Smart strategy has always been at a premium.

  7. Invalid,

    Here’s what (link). And I’d advise some other measures too, which I won’t elaborate, but should be obvious to those who read the Arthashastra.

  8. Apart from focus on Afghanistan, I don’t see any other solution/measures proposed there in the link.

    “it must act once it has enough information”

    What should the act consist of ?

    Slightly this blog post contradicts with what you have told in comment #20 @ . Though comment 20 is not asking for confrontation directly; but condition that would prevail at the end of implementing comment 20 would be what this blog post requests.

  9. I agree with regards to military action–with the US in the region that’s not gonna happen. But I want our covert ops guys to bump these a-holes in their backyard. They should be afraid no matter where they are, Dhaka or Peshawar. I hope the Israelis will do the needful so that the Lubavitcher Rabbis will rest in peace.

    The country was invaded, and letting that go unpunished would be making our banana republic status official. Are there no sensible left in our security establishment who can do that without the sanction of the politician morons housing the govt.

  10. I think that the main point that every one misses regardless of what strategy/military action etc may be is that Pakistan thinks that the Indian political establishment is a joke.

    Manmohan Singh confirms that India is indeed a joke by first calling the ISI chief to Delhi and then by appointing P.Chidambaram to Union Home Minister.

    I would be the first to admit that a blown up doll could do a better job than Shivraj Patil – but Chidambaram ? Some one who has spent his entire political career on economics/commerce? Is this the BEST choice that we have for a Union Home Minister ?

    India lacks credibility on just about every possible front when it comes to national defense against terrorism. Pakistan knows this and repeatedly calls our bluff – first it was that costly and USELESS buildup of troops after the Parliament attacks. Did any one in India seriously believe that we were going to war ? Nope.

    What exactly where the concessions gained? What was achieved ? PoK is still a training ground of terrorists – including for the bastards who caused the carnage in Bombay.

    Is it possible that India can attack KNOWN TERROR TRAINING camps in PoK ? Also, how many terrorist attacks can a third world country with third world security infrastructure and third world Government policies stop? Seriously – it is time to get realistic.

    We could not even withdraw our diplomats from Pakistan -even though there is a Pakistani in custody talking about a 6 month training for this “mission”. But you know what, since the Pakistani Govt didnt officially sanction this attack, they should get away scott free – no matter what their citizens do.

    To add insult to injury, Pakistan is now threatening to take its troops to the border with India – why ? Because our brave Defense Minister is supposed to have used a “harsh” tone ! What a joke !

    In short the Pakistani military called India’s bluff EVEN BEFORE we attempted to bluff. And Manmohan Singh thinks that Chidambaram is knowledgeable enough to be Home Minister after one of the worst terrorist attacks on Indian Soil.

    And here we are debating on which policy/strategy should be used. First off, India needs to stop being a joke.

    Indian citizens are on their own – they pretty much know it. A bunch of eunuchs are in charge of the country.

  11. SoCal,

    “But I want our covert ops guys to bump these a-holes in their backyard. They should be afraid no matter where they are, Dhaka or Peshawar.”

    Ummm… I would want our “intel” to be able to detect and pre-empt attacks on Indian civilians BEFORE they can go into Pakistan’s backyard.

    The same people who couldnt deter a terrorist attack on the financial nerve center of the region are now going to be asked to plan special-ops in Peshawar?

    Talk about running on empty.

  12. Frankly, it’s now no longer clear that India’s interests coincide with the West’s in the region

    Washington would like India not to provoke Pakistani withdrawal of troops from the tribal territories. The cost of indulging Washington in this manner is the blood of our people

    This might even be OK if the West had any credibility. As it is, Washington is losing the seven year old war on Taliban/Al Qaeda in the region. Why exactly should India keep taking losses over a half-hearted and losing Western effort?

    It’s time for Delhi to think about our people first instead of taking instructions from other capitals. If this means war, so be it

    Best regards

  13. Brasstacks II or Parakram II, short of a war could call Pak’s bluff. If they redeploy to their eastern border, they risk leaving the entire region west of the Indus to the tender mercies of the pakiban and NATO troops.

    Meanwhile a 2 week standoff at the border could seriously deplete Pak’s forex reserces and their oil reserves too, perhaps…

    At which time Dilli shuld promptly invite Mullah Omar for formal talks to establish an embassy of the emirate in Dilli pending formal recognition talsk with the Afghan Emirate.

    /Yeah I know, still, was a good scenario admittedly. heh heh.

  14. @sud,

    Read my post from the previous thread (“let’s go to afghanistan”)
    Pak Army/ISI would like nothing more than to have an excuse in breaking off its fratricidal confrontation against their jihadi offspring. So far they’ve only been doing it due to Western pressure, and so now they could have a convenient excuse to stop (“Sorry Uncle Sam, the Indians are threatening our other borders, gotta go! Ta-ta!”)
    Talk about being saved by the bell — in this case though, they may have had a hand in pulling that bell themselves)

  15. @T S D Murthy
    >>I recall reading in the India Today (it was so many years ago, the details may not be correct, but the substance is) that Israel offered to bomb out the facility and asked for permission to overfly the Indian territory. Rajiv Gandhi not only refused but rang up Zia and told him about the offer and his refusal.

    Mr.Murthy, actually what happened was in ’81 Israel had bombed Iraq’s budding Osirak nuclear reactor, and had suggested to India – though India had no formal diplomatic relations with Israel- in the wake of upcoming Kahuta Nuclear Reactor in Pakistan that both Israeli & Indian security forces could do a joint operation to destroy it, and given the geographical distance between Israel and Kahuta, had asked for refuelling facilties for its planes @ Jamnagar Airbase. Indira Gandhi, the then PM had in principal agreed to this proposal but @ the penultimate moment CIA somehow got the wind of all this and alerted the Pakistani authorites and this operation was therefore abandoned.

    If you want to read more about this as well as how US and its allies turned a blind eye to Pakistan’s nuclear program, I would suggest you to pls read Adrian Levy’s “Deception : Pakistan, the United States, and the secret trade in nuclear weapons”.

  16. Sootradhar,

    Well put. Further, listening to Israel wouldn’t have been great strategy at that time. Why? because we are condemned to be Pak’s neighbours and because Pak could always order chinese take-outs for their bums. Their target after their arse-nal got chini-replenished, would have been Dilli. Israel is simply too far away for them to get to, IMO.

  17. The only option, as always, remains – dismembering Pakistan. Anything short of that will come back to bite India again, sooner or later.

    The dismembering hard-work will have to be done by the Indian military, expect no help (or hindrance, for that matter) internationally.

    But point is: It is *not* enough to de-nuke Papistan, they will get more nukes from PRC. Its is equally important to disband that criminal enterprise the world calls Pakistan. SO whenever we decide to defang the turds, we have to do basic follow up and dismember them as well.

  18. Sud,
    Thanx! The fact remains that we all along maintained a head-in-the-sand attitude regarding Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions, straight from the early 70s when in the light of Pokhran test by India, Bhutto, the then Pakistani PM had boasted that Pakistan will eat grass but come haven or hell make the first Islamic (Atomic) Bomb, and for the financing of this ‘ambitious’ mission, they had Libyans, Suadis n other sundry Islamic nations lined up. Also, there is no denying that India time-n-gain failed to deliver befitting response to Pakistan’s devious tactics…remember in the aftermath of ’71 war, Indira Gandhi agreed to Bhutto’s Simla treaty. Before that, the defeat in ’65 war didn’t deter Pakistan from fomenting troubles for India, and hence came the realisation that it (Pakistan) will never be able to put India down by conventional war techniques. Hence, the approach towards developing/gathering/stealing nuclear arse-nal, supporting Khalistani movement in the 80s and later on providing overt & covert support to Kashmiri terrorists & separatists group.

    >>The only option, as always, remains – dismembering Pakistan. Anything short of that will come back to bite India again, sooner or later.

    I agree, but the BIG question in that context remains as to who will bell the cat, to paraphrase. India would have to consider each and every option as well as prepared for counter actions from Pakistan as well as its allies like China or even US. India always has to keep in mind that it has to fight its own battles, nobody…least of all the new-found friendhip with US will help in this regard. US, as is the wont of any nation, will always and has always kept its security interests @ the forefront, although that has @ times come back to haunt it…eg providing all kind of support to Mujahideens in their fight against the Soviet in 80s and then abandoning them after their purpose was served…those were the same Mujahideens that morphed into Taliban regime, of course with the inspiration of their lackey – to quote Tariq Ali – ‘used condom’ Pakistan, whose ideology was behind 9/11. Or as Chalmers Johnson terms it as ‘Blowback’.

  19. “The same people who couldnt deter a terrorist attack on the financial nerve center of the region are now going to be asked to plan special-ops in Peshawar?
    Talk about running on empty.”

    Umm…empty argument. There’s a difference attack and defense. I’m asking them to attack and make life null for them. Should be eminently doable as against providing specific intelligence when the target is as big as India. It can also be a test of all those who are shedding tears, crocodile or not, if they’re serious about helping us.

  20. I don’t agree. You cannot sustain for long against an enemy who is bent upon destroying the confidence of the nation by any means even though it means suicide for him.

    A military action at the spur of the moment with little preparation may not be advisable, that too with a government that is propped up by jihadi supporters like lalu. But a military approach only can finish this for once and all. India must build up covert operations capability, forces that can work behind enemy lines for long periods. We must build up better intelligence on the ground and focus on nullifying the Pakistani nuclear threat. Covert military operations backed up soon by overt military strikes must be carried out as soon as possible.

  21. Primary Red,
    It is not entirely clear that a withdrawal of the PA from the Western borders would be a bad thing for NATO militaries there. They would have the freedom to violate Pakistani borders and launch attacks on terrorist camps in the NWFP and nearby regions.
    A war for India is a very dicey proposition. I say this because it is not clear what a) the objective of such a war would be (beyond a purely territorial one), and b) India would have the burden of running Pakistan or what’s left of it postwar. I think b) is not a desirable situation, since to govern Pakistan would involve having to directly deal with the sort of Islamic, sectarian fundamentalists that are so entrenched in Pakistani society today.

  22. Chidambaram is a joke. All he’s capable of doing is to propose yet another cess which Manmohan will then impose on the tiny percentage of Indians who actually pay taxes. “A tax is the best defence” as the joke from Yes Minister said.

    Throw these idiots out in the next election.

  23. 1.Those who are advocating covert actions on Pakistani soil against the jihadi camps, please note that successive union govts (NDA and UPA) have defanged the RAW to the extent that we don’t have a covert ops group any longer. B.Raman has been asking for reviving the RAW covert ops group for the past 2 years.

    2.But we can take Mossad’s help to execute a quick covert ops in Muridke for starters.

    3.And we can crack down heavily on D-Company in Mumbai as part of internal security measures.Sadly, no analyst is asking for this crackdown.And the Maharashtra govt seems unwilling to eliminate the D-Company elements in Mumbai.

    4.I think we need to use Chanakya Neeti here.No overt direct military action against Pakistan.Keep talking to the civilian govt there (at under-secretary level), and get into Afghanistan in a big way.Encourage the Greater Afghanistan or Pakhtoonistan elements to break Pakistan.

    5.Use the connections in PoK to plan and execute covert ops on the camps near Mujaffarabad.

    6.Repeal Art 370, and start a demographic resettlement of the valley.Seed a real estate boom in J&K and let the DLFs/Rahejas make money (along with the locals!)

    For some of the actions above, especially 6, we may need a change of govt.

  24. @Kumar

    Hey, I could not agree with you more about demolishing the D-company in Mumbai. It has been 15 years since Dawood masterminded the serial attacks in the city and we have still not dismantled his network? This is absolutely shameful – even for a coutry like in India which is so soft on terror.The only reason i can think of is that many politicians/policemen/beureaucrats/businessmen would be in serious trouble as their past association with the gangster would come to light.

    On a different note, here is what the commies think should be done:

    “If they do not respond, then India should take the matter to the U.N. Security Council under its Resolution 1373 which asks all States to take steps to prevent commission of terror acts, deny safe havens to those who finance, plan or support these activities,” Mr. Yechury said.

    This would have so laughable except that these jokers have 60 seats in Parliament. With friends like these, who needs enemies?

  25. @Kumar: Even if RAW’s covert action capability is restored, I doubt if you and me will ever find out. Furthermore, I doubt if even B. Raman’s friends in the service would be willing to share such info with him if CAC was restored. However, we might see favourable results in the sub-continent, if it did happen.

  26. 1. Pak is going down the tubes slowly. Let it. Beggars (ie UPA’s India) don’t get to say, “Not fast enough for me, I want it right away”; if you do not have patience with the timescale involved, too bad.

    2. Military action only under BJP, and that too if at all needed. Other things, fine. Stop CBMs, peace process (whatever that was)…etc.

    3. If some military action was taken in a week and it succeeded (I cannot see such a scenario, but just assume it happened), the credit would go to the UPA. So public is euphoric, UPA comes back in 2009. And completes the hollowing out of India that it had begun 5 yrs ago.

    4. So an Armed Forces that the UPA insults day in day out should save the UPA’s electoral butt? No thanks. Get George Kaka in.

    5. Strengthen India internally..when we are strong, we can wipe them out. Right now, I dont want to risk any asset in India, let alone life of Indians, for the “pleasure” of blowing up empty buildings on the outskirts of Muzzafarabad. (Does anyone honestly think LeT launches their little raids without due preparation? You think they will be waiting at home for the IAF?)

    6. Is it not better to stop appeasement of Indian muslims? Let LeT learn: you strike us, and your muslims suffer. As it is, we have no reason to continue appeasement except to maintain a votebank. And BJP does not need that votebank.

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