Isolate, Contain, Suffocate and Fight Pakistan

The Indian strategy against this known enemy must be this: isolate, contain, suffocate and fight. When you know the cobra sitting in a hole, you do not extend a hand of friendship; you smoke that cobra to death.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif telephones our prime minister after a terror attack and we become happy, while his country has been protecting jihadist commander Maulana Masood Azhar since 1999.

The recent Pakistani attack on the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Pathankot has demonstrated once again that India’s enemy is bold: it invades our territory frequently, fights for several days and kills our soldiers.

India is forced to fight the battle on its own soil, not in the enemy’s territory. After each attack, Home Minister Rajnath Singh says: “We will give a befitting reply.” India waits for the enemy to attack so that it can offer a reply. Contrary to us, the enemy is on the offensive. India’s character is peaceful. As a result, for thousands of years, foreigners have invaded us.
Former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam observed: “In 3000 years of our history, people from all over the world have come and invaded us, captured our lands, conquered our minds. From Alexander onwards. The Greeks, the Portuguese, the British, the French, the Dutch, all of them came and looted us, took over what was ours. Yet we have not done this to any other nation. We have not conquered anyone. We have not grabbed their land, their culture, their history tried to enforce our way of life on them.”

India has never invaded any country.

We have become a nation of cowards. We have always welcomed foreign invaders, lived with them and dined with them. It is not surprising then that India’s intellectuals, government officials, journalists and diplomats routinely advise the government to hold peace talks with Pakistan, knowing fully that this enemy will not desist.

A nation’s political and military leaders make decisions in a social atmosphere of ideas. India’s atmosphere of ideas is shaped by its journalists and commentators. Many journalists based in Delhi are also on the payroll of the Pakistani military’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which creates and nurtures terrorist groups.

During its first year, the Modi government adopted a correct policy on the Pakistan border. For each Pakistani firing, India fought back strongly. Pakistanis were surprised. Peace ensued on the border. But the Pakistani Lobby in Delhi succeeded in convincing that Modi must visit Pakistan.

On December 25 when Modi was in Lahore, I tweeted: “After Modi’s Lahore visit, I will watch if there are terror attacks on Indian targets in Afghanistan or inside India.” Any expert could forecast that Modi’s Lahore visit will lead to terror attacks. After the Pathankot attack, the Indian Consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif was attacked, while the Indian Consulate in Jalalabad was also targeted.

Shiv Sena rightly said: Modi’s tea with Nawaz Sharif cost seven Indian soldiers in Pathankot. True that Modi went to extend a hand of friendship. But when you know the cobra sitting in a hole, you do not extend a hand of friendship; you smoke that cobra to death.

Over the past year, there were signs that India was surrendering its Pakistan policy to the fake secularism industry of Delhi. Under pressure, Modi surrendered when he sent Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar to Islamabad in March. Modi surrendered when he sent National Security Adviser Ajit Doval to Bangkok for a secret meeting with his Pakistani counterpart.

And then the U.S. State Department took over India’s Pakistan policy. Under U.S. pressure, Modi sent Vice President Hamid Ansari to Turkmenistan in December to attend the ground-breaking ceremony of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline.

Also, there are signs that Modi, like A.B. Vajpayee, wants to become a world leader by forging friendship with Pakistan. Before the attack in Pathankot, what was India losing by not holding talks with Pakistan? Why is it that the TAPI cannot wait for next twenty years?

If the U.S. is interested in shaping South Asia, why is it funding Pakistan’s jihadist military and its ISI, which launched attacks in Kargil, Mumbai and numerous times in Kashmir, and now in Punjab?

India’s Pakistan policy has been taken over by the Pakistani Lobby of Delhi and the U.S. State Department.

In his book Magnificent Delusions, former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani notes that M.A. Jinnah held a meeting in May 1947, when Pakistan was still an idea, with two U.S. officials: Raymond Hare of the U.S. State Department and Thomas Weill of the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. Jinnah told them: the creation of Pakistan was “essential to prevent ‘Hindu imperialism’ [from] spreading” to the Middle East.

Wings of Fire: Abdul Kalam's book

Wings of Fire: Abdul Kalam’s book

Within a month of Pakistan’s creation in August 1947, Jinnah and other officials of the newly created Pakistan were interviewed by Margaret Bourke-White of LIFE magazine. Jinnah told her: “America needs Pakistan more than Pakistan needs America.” Pakistani officials told Bourke-White: “Surely America will build our army”; “Surely America will give us loans to keep Russia from walking in.”

If Bourke-White were interviewing Pakistani officials today, they would tell her this: America will fund our army to prevent terrorists. And then they would go on to create more terrorists.

Pakistan creates and nurtures terrorists with a dual aim: to keep the U.S. giving it money. To illustrate the point by current example, Pakistan began using F-16 fighter planes in Waziristan to bomb terrorists so that the U.S. will release funds for the Pakistani army. F-16 planes are meant to fight enemy states, not terrorists. In her book Fighting to the End, Christine Fair writes: “Pakistan’s efforts to employ political Islamists, and later Islamist militants in Afghanistan, began as early as the late 1950s.”

Pakistan’s use of jihadists in Kashmir in 1947-48 is well known to Indian readers. The use of jihadists was boosted by a strategy of infiltration as argued by Brig. A. A. K. Niazi, who would go on to surrender in Dhaka in 1971 to a victorious India.

Niazi wrote in 1964: “infiltration implies by-passing of enemy posts by relatively small parties which penetrate deep and unseen into the defences and converge at a pre-designated objective”; infiltration “will achieve much better results with far lesser casualties than any other form of attack.”

Over half a century since Niazi wrote these words, India is dealing with infiltration of Pakistani jihadists in Kashmir and now in Punjab. The best advice for India is: isolate this known enemy, do not have dinner with it; freeze talks and cricket with Pakistan.

The Indian strategy against this known enemy must be this: isolate, contain, suffocate and fight.

(A version of this article was published by Dainik Jagran, India’s largest Hindi-language newspaper, on January 7, 2016)

Former BBC journalist Tufail Ahmad is the executive director of the Open Source Institute, New Delhi. Ahmad is the author of “Jihadist Threat to India – The Case for Islamic Reformation by an Indian Muslim.” He tweets @tufailelif
  • Silent Observer

    Its doesn’t seem to be the case that naivete is behind Indian gestures of friendship. Rather Modi is being pragmatic by exercising discretion in picking the battles. At the core of India’s soft policy is U$’s covert support to the enemy. Any harsh action will be condemned, ill publicized and be used as justification for more supply of arms. The U$ really wants to keep our wounds infected to cause us harm when they chose to do so. U$ is not our friend, never was and never will be. Secondly Modi haters will use anything and everything as a weapon. Media regularly criticized Modi’s “aggression” and “brinkmanship” in dealing with Pak! Its seems he is playing it safe to deny them the opportunity for criticism. And god forbid if the day ever arises when India absolutely must wage war, no body can blame him to be the perpetrator by being belligerent all along.

  • Ali Agha

    You dotheads and your bollywood inspired fantasies are truly a riot. Come at us anytime of the year – we love target practice. You tried to quell, contain and oppress Pakistan flag waving Kashmiris and even that’s failed. Threaten a nuclear power and it’ll spell you’ll just accelerate your self destruction.

  • Sledgehammer

    Pakistan over the years has successfully turned India into a pressure cooker with multiple valves. Every terrorist act of it involves two teams, the first team comprises of savages motivated by Islam and usually cross over from Pakistan and the second team located in almost every popular media house, newspapers and opinion makers. While the first team takes us by surprise and does the damage, the second team waits in silence to twist the knife. Like the first team, the second team too has its task cutout, blame lax security, incompetence of Intelligence apparatus, Hindu hawks, human rights violation in Kashmir, Babri and finally Godhra. The second team ensures that the built up pressure is let off through multiple valves by sowing doubts in the minds of the public and dividing the opinion. The second team ensures that the Will of the government is degraded by the time it can get its act together.
    This pressure cooker that Pakistan has turned us into, ensures that we slowly cook in our own juices and what ever pressure is built up is released without harming Pakistan in any way.

    What really surprises me is the route taken by Modi and Doval. Based on what ever information that is available through the media, it is clear that Modi, Doval duo is taking the same route as their predecessors.
    Terrorism will not stop by a handshake or by punishing the perpetrators of 26/11 or Pathankot attackers. What we really need to do is punish Pakistan for every misadventure and at the same time create enough leverages to get Pakistan to reform its education system, which is basically a feeder system for the jihadi factory run by the mullah-army combine. Till the time this feeder system exists, our country will be subjected to savagery by Pakistan’s poisoned minds.

  • Rajat Datta

    Pakistan is a failed state. The reins of power rests solely on the hands of its military who are hand in gloves with the fundamentalists. It is the Pakistani military with which India needs to deal with and not the civilian government which does not have any meaningful powers. India should meet the challenge of proxy war with proxy war and make the misadventures of the Pakistani military a very costly affair. Looking up to the U.S.A. to control Pakistan will not help since the Americans continue to give money and arms to Pakistan a significant part of which is funneled to the terrorists. The RAW network which Gujral dismantled in Pakistan needs to rebuilt and perfected.

    • Samrat Bharat

      True. Our PM simply wants the frequent flyer miles or lacks your infinite wisdom?

      • Rajat Datta

        What a shame the PM in his ‘infinite wisdom’ failed to appoint you as an interlocutor with the Pakistani military!

        • Samrat Bharat

          Yes. Quite sad.

  • Badal

    We are making a serious mistake in assuming that in dealing with Pakistan we are dealing with an homogeneous and a monolithic entity. The country has been swinging between democratically elected govt and Military rule.The elected govt has never been allowed to become stronger or pursue independent policies by the looming shadow of Military influence all the time. The dominance of religious groups and fundamentalists add another dimension of influence on the power centre. One does not know to whom the ISI works for. It collaborates with US to nab Osama and feigns ignorance. The govt is kept in the dark. The separatists from Kashmir could be working with the ISI without the govt coming to know anything about it.

    The peace process has never made any head way and further Pakistan is in the brink of being labeled a failed state , because India or for that matter other Nations have never worked towards facilitating the elected govt in Pakistan to rightfully entrench itself on its own term instead of being under the mercy of Military and religious fundamentalists .

    The terror attack relies mostly on the Pressure that Media and the opposition can put on the Govt .Our
    Media reacts more than what was duly expected off them to the surprise of the terror out fits themselves . This cycle of — initiatives for dialogue from both the sides – followed by a Daring terror act – followed by Media frenzy and opposition’s condemnation – followed by guarded govt reaction in postponing the talks
    or slowing down the process is too glaring to be missed by those who call themselves expert in Indo -pak affairs . The Media makes it sure that no matter which ever group is behind the terror attack ,the message is conveyed in an insinuating manner that as if the Pakistani govt that is the official approver of such acts . In fact it is plausible that any mercenary outfit could have carried out terror acts.

    When Sri Lanka was dealing with LTTE menace it was well known that Tamil Nadu politicians were actively abetting and facilitating the LTTE in Tamil Nadu. But the truth is Indian govt did not encourage the LTTE.
    Why is the Media playing in to the hands of these terror outfits and ends up serving the objectives these outfits? One may be even tempted to suspect that possibly the Media is under the pay rolls of those who
    are nurturing these terror outfits.

    It would be wrong to conclude that since any initiative of dialogues with Pakistan inevitably invites terror to our door steps , therefore it would be better to turn away from such initiatives . Are we then going to allow our foreign policy to be decided by some terror out fits .What a shame! And what is the guarantee that such acts of cowardice from us will not embolden these forces further.

    Isolate, contain, and suffocate Pakistan as is being suggested if resorted to then can we visualize what would happen. The Pakistani govt would feel the necessity to take steps to work for better ties with India .So far so good. Then what next ?? Of course! Then the entire cycle would restart ending with India calling off the talks or slowing down the pace. As a matter of fact , Pakistan is already cornered and under
    severe pressure from the western powers headed by USA . All these events leading from Sharif – Obama meet -unofficial meeting of the PMs in Paris – followed by NSA meet in Bangkok -Shusma swaraj’s visit
    to Pakistan -Modi’s stop over and agreement on foreign secretary talks everything originated from the isolation pressure Pakistan is being subjected to .

    The best way out for both the countries and especially for India is to then break free of these vicious cycle
    by disallowing the terror out fits from holding the prospect of normalization of ties between the two countries to ransom. They should continue to have meetings and dialogues through back door as well as
    through regular channels and simultaneously work with world intelligence agencies to gather timely
    inputs on terror outfits and their plans and beef up our preparedness as much as possible.

    The fight against terror is continuous .One cannot throw up One’s hands and end up serving their objective of calling off talks for better ties. The least that could be done is not to allow ourselves to be led by the vested interest to over react and play in to their hands.

  • jssidhoo

    Hope this gets to Modi

  • Cybil Peril

    Whereas I fully endorse and agree but Pakistan needs to be dealt in a very sophisticated style. Being an immediate Islamist neighbour, India, especially Modi needs to tread very carefully and I’m sure he is n will given time. Modi is a very very clever man. Please do not underestimate him.

  • Cybil Peril

    Couldn’t agree more but my dear friend Tufail, Modi has been already blasphemised by Christian and Islamic lobbies by Goebbelsian tricks and if he didn’t, the same international treacherous community will further defame him as Hindu fascists. This applies more to his Indian Hindu secular lobby at home too for vote bank cheap politics likes of Nitish, Laloo, Sunia etc…

  • abhijit pal

    wherever muslims are in majority, all others decimated – pak bdesh kashmir …then these states become launching pads for more islamic attacks

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  • Sridhar Kaushik

    This govt is as effeminate as any before it.
    Modi is just a bania who is good at trade. That is all.
    He does not have the balls to confront an enemy who is devious.
    India should understand Pakistan is not just a nation. It is a “greedy” ideological State that is bent upon destryoing India and what it stands for.
    Indian rulers are morons who keep believing if you extend a hand of friendship 10 times, at least 1 time the enemy will respond.
    That is what Prithviraj Chauhan believed too.
    Crush the enemy.
    AS Tarak Fateh says: seal borders with Pakistan, isolate that nation and crush it by giving back in the same coin.

  • Jaya

    It must be obvious to a blind man at a 1000 yards that – of the USD 30 billion aid flowing into Pakistan – a non trivial chunk is probably flowing back to the decision makers approving the aid – that is why the aid tap continues to flow and it allows people to stay in the game. We keep seeing this through the lens of Pakistani perfidy – but Pakistan has been doing this from 1947 – nurturing irregulars intermixed with its own forces, the lens that is not used is how about corruption in the political system in the US!!

  • Rohit Saroj

    I think we people are too tolerant we need to get intolerant now towards terrorism plz gov do something ghar me guske maro salo ko………….

  • JagatguruDas

    “From Alexander onwards. The Greeks, the Portuguese, the British, the French, the Dutch, all of them came and looted us, took over what was ours….” What about our friendly mughals?

    • BayAreaBiker

      They stayed back to convert.

      • JagatguruDas

        Convert??? No no. They want to carry all the good thing done by their predecessors. The most important being keeping the hindu fringe elements (no matter this includes 99% of that community) under control without which this country would’ve broken into so many pieces like it was before British rule. They stayed back to make this nation similar to our benign neighbor.

    • Anshul Singhal

      he did not talk about Islamic Invaders, may be he is taking them including himself as Convert Indian to Islam, not the Islamic invaders descendant as the case with many (I appreciate his honesty to stick to the facts if it is really as it is), who will soon organize a large Ghar wapasi program which will and can happen only when we teach Pakistan a life time lesson and eradicate it, then who try to be embolden in the name of Islam here, will realize their proper place,because they too get that attitude from Pakistan itself and we have to puncture this balloon at any cost

      • JagatguruDas

        Or he didn’t want to stir hornet’s nest? Or he believed since some of them stayed back they can’t be invaders?

  • Concerned Indian

    What stops Modi and team to name and shame the so called Pak lobby… ? Identify them and go after them as you hounded NGOs .. looking for escape root, actually its is incompetence of the government to deal with Pakistan..

  • उत्कर्ष

    We really need to get rid of this secularism enforced on Hindus in 1976 by Congress. Only then will Bharat emerge as a true power.

  • VeVePe

    To deal with Pakistan, one has to work from both outside and inside.

    Work from outside via its sponsors – namely US, China & Saudi. Need to ensure that no financial or military support is given from outside. Need carrots and sticks to influence the policies of these sponsors.

    Work from inside with friends among Sindhis, Balochis, Mohajirs, Pushtuns, Shias, Ahmedis, Christians, Baltistanis and secular Punjabis.

    We must be clear that the end goal is the disintegration of Pakistan and the de-legitimization of its Islamist identity and narrative.

    • Mahesh C

      Threat of India working towards its breakup will surely send shock waves through spines of both military as well as civilian leadership & they will follow normal international norms of civil interactions.

  • SuchindranathAiyer

    How can anybody differentiate between active terrorists and dormant terrorists? They are all dressed in the same Taliban uniform of beard, skull cap, soiled pyjama suits. The active terrorists melt back into the Taliban crowd, where they are concealed and protected by the dormant.

  • krishnakumar

    A hard hitting article from Sh.Tufail Ahmad. The media coverage on Pathankot offensive amply proves that the MSM is a bunch of money makers on the basis of TRPs and can go to any extent against national interests. But Tufail went a step ahead and opined in bold letters that a good lot of MSM journalists are on the roll of ISI and other terrorist groups.

    The fact that the MSM was sleeping for upto 3 days after the Malda events prove that. And even after 3 days the response of the MSM was muted. Shame on MSM.

    Every other Hindutva participant in MSM debates shall take the form of a bully like Dr.Swamy, the way he handle Arnab. The Hindutva debaters shall start calling MSM anchors as communal and should not hesitate to do that. In every MSM TV debate when every other Hindutvba debater start calling MSM people as communal and anti national, the message would strongly go across………. even if it does not produce immediate results.

    Sh.Tarek Fatah from time and again in every fora advocates breaking the international menace, i.e. Baqi sthan aka pakistan. The Baqi sthan should again be sliced into as many pieces for world peace.

    • BayAreaBiker

      Yeah! Porkistan needs to be further divided. However, the issue remains – -who is going to do that. Probably Indian military is capable of doing that but the Indian leadership (including that of BJP/NDA) doesn’t have the balls. They are all talk and no action. Day by day, Indira’s Congress govt.’s response in 1971 has been looking much better although she failed miserably when it came down to negotiating the Kashmir dispute even when India held all the cards with strong hand.

      Nonetheless, India cannot win in an overt action or placing their military might on the border against Pakistan. Stakes are too high. Pakistanis know that too. There will be pressure from west, especially US to not to go to war. It is time to go full covert. Start killing the leadership of non-state actors as Pakistan defines them. Create issues wherever Pakistan has economic interests inside and outside of their country — and raise the cost so high that Pakistan eventually understands that India too can play the unconventional game of war of thousand cuts.

  • Savarkar’s Disciple

    This confusion will continue as long as we continue to have a status quo attitude towards SECULARISM and dont think of a Secularism Mukta Bharat.The people at the realm of affairs be it the Bureaucrats or Ministers are products of the same Nehruvian Secularist Propaganda and what disappoints me the most is that just like Tufail Ahmed I too feel that Modi has eventually succumbed to the this “Statesman Lollypop”.
    These BJP-RSS walas need to be given a serious Kick on the backsides,such morones should dare not use the word HINDUTVA by Savarkar or even speak of Sanatan Dharma because they fall short in championing the Hindu or Dharmik Cause when they come to power (bloody Cowards).Some of us should help Savarkar family in sueing RSS for using the word Hindutva while not adhering to its principles and we Sanatan Dharmiks should hold these BJP Wallas accountable for every vote they receive from our behalf or else think of coming up with an alternative option.