Options are several, but it is time to stop being politically correct, view the Kashmir problem in the context of global Islamist expansionism and a thousand years of a raging demographic war against the cultural entity of Bharat. Below are the options on the table. A combination of several of these could be used
As the flesh and blood of our jawans are scooped and washed off the cold ground of Pulwama in Kashmir, the entire nation looks for revenge. Pakistan-backed Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility for the massacre.
But how is India to respond to Pakistan for the biggest terror attack on our forces in Kashmir?
Options are several, but it is time to stop being politically correct, view the Kashmir problem in the context of global Islamist expansionism and a thousand years of a raging demographic war against the cultural entity of Bharat.
Below are the options on the table. A combination of several of these could be used:
1. Surgical strike: It is the buzzword and limited dramatic action averts fullscale war but quenches public bloodlust. But India has used in once against Pakistan in September 2016 and it has lost its essential surprise value. Also, this dogged hostility and the scale of bloodshed deserve a much bigger, deeper response than a localised strike.
2. Scrap Articles 370 and 35A: Accept Kashmir as a demographic war and scrap the two Articles which give it special status. Both were brought through the backdoor by our first PM Jawaharlal Nehru bypassing Parliament. In the long run, this is the only way to settle people from all religions in Kashmir, reverse the constitutional safeguards for an Islamic demographic hegemony and integrate Kashmir with the Indian mainstream.
3. Trains from heartland: Currently 22 trains halt at Srinagar station. More trains straight from the heartland -- especially states like UP and Bihar from which mass migration for jobs take place -- should be started. Migration to Kashmir should be actively encouraged, outsiders settled there safely.
4. Bleed Pakistan: It is way easier hire fidayeens from any gully in Karachi than from Kanpur. Pakistan has set up a terror infrastructure at home with much care. India should use that to destabilise it and extract payback. Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have separatists movements which India should nudge and support. With success in 1971 and creation of Bangladesh behind us, India should look at collapsing Pakistan with a few breaks while it bleeds us with a thousand cuts.
5. Rein in the river: India honours a totally skewed Indus Water Treaty of 1960 despite Pakistan’s unabated hostility. It has built a fraction of the dam capacity even the extremely generous treaty allows. While the fear is China has a similar river leverage over us which it could use on Pakistan’s request, hard diplomacy may bring China to see our point of view. After all, China knows Islamist terror in Xinjiang province where it is engaged in the most ruthless subversion of jihad.
6. Bring crippling sanctions on Pakistan: India wields enough clout internationally, even among the Middleast Islamic nations, to pressure Pakistan and ensure some sanctions. It will make Pakistan more dependent on China, less free to act on its own, and more tension domestically over Chinese control. And a foreign fund freeze hit Pakistan’s well-fed, feudal generals the most.
7. Declare Pakistan a terror state: A private member already demands end of bonhomie with Pakistan and declaring it a state sponsor of terror. If played well internationally, it could inflict serious sanctions.
8. Massive crackdown in Kashmir: The state is ripe for a massive crackdown. Pakistan is pumping in money and helping with logistics to transform the entire Valley into a jihad lab. Hundreds of youth are being brainwashed. Make life hell for terrorists and their families, cut the money trail.
9. Smoking out the devil: India must get Dawood Ibrahim, Hafeez Saeed or Masood Azhar in a targeted assassination, planned capture or a complicit handover. Perceptionally, it will instill fear in our enemy.
10. An all-out war: Last option, literally. Avoidable by all means. India is rising, gaining respect internationally, its economy falling into a better place. A torn, sinking Pakistan has not much to lose, while India has way higher stakes.
While these are just some of the options, PM Narendra Modi and NSA Ajit Doval may have a bigger, more innovative surprise in store. Either way, India has runs out of the option not to respond. It must, and not too late.
Last Updated 1:16 PM IST