One cannot help but appreciate Mr. Modi’s sense of timing for the dramatic. Following the raids inside POK subsequent to Pakistan’s Uri misadventure, we have chaos heaped in big measure with the surprise move to demonetize high value currency notes. On the aftermath of the precision raids against militant launch pads while everybody and their uncle was holding forth on its efficacy or otherwise, those at its receiving end maintained an uneasy silence, prevalent even to this day similar to the Mafia’s code of Omertà.
Stone pelting too, which appears to be motivated more by cash transfers than any actual grievance against the local Administration is also likely to be greatly impacted by Mr. Modi’s action to switch off unaccounted for funds.
We now see a similar reaction on Mr. Modi’s strike against the corrupt, with politicians of all hues loudly proclaiming their opposition to the move on behalf of the common man. This is despite the fact that the average man or woman on the street, inspite of the inconvenience faced, appears to have reacted positively to this initiative. There can be little doubt that politicians have been greatly impacted, personally and politically, especially given the role of money power in elections, which interestingly finds little mention.
All of this, including Trump’s unexpected success at the American Presidential hustings, has pushed the question of the ongoing situation along the LOC into the background, which in itself is not a bad thing. We can certainly do with lowering of tensions, something impossible to achieve in the face of an aggressive and ultra-nationalistic media that continues to view Indo-Pakistan relations through the prism of a zero sum game.
Given the onset of winter in the coming weeks, the Kashmir Valley is slowly settling down to its usual bout of somnambulism. The attempts by radical elements to burn down schools, while their own kith and kin get the benefits of education elsewhere, has not gone down well with the affected population and is leading to increasing disenchantment with Separatists and their disruptive agenda. Stone pelting too, which appears to be motivated more by cash transfers than any actual grievance against the local Administration is also likely to be greatly impacted by Mr. Modi’s action to switch off unaccounted for funds.
While there is likelihood that south Asian ingenuity will allow sponsors of terrorism to come up with novel ways to provide monetary motivation, it is unlikely to be any time soon. The return of relative peace and quiet because of all these factors gives the State Administration breathing space and an opportunity to get its act together and come up with practical and viable solutions that will help better meet the aspirations of the citizens, especially with regard to jobs and livelihood.
…a limited war between both the countries is a distinct possibility, it can hardly be construed as an optimal solution in dealing with the vexed issue of J&K.
While analysts grapple with the question of how the new American Administration will tackle Pakistan and its Jihadi network, we can be sure of one thing, Mr. Modi’s policy of massive pro-active retaliation against Pakistan’s unprovoked attacks along the LOC and the International Boundary in Jammu and Kashmir is slowly starting to pay dividends.
Off course, there is a heavy cost being paid by both soldiers and locals in that region in terms of fatalities and injuries. It is no consolation to them or their families that Pakistan is being hurt even more, but given the circumstances this is probably a better option than being embroiled in the midst of violent conflict. This, along with the fact that Pakistan’s bluff of nuclear blackmail over the years has been nailed for what it is have given us some strategic advantage which is already impacting the on-going situation.
That brings us to the question of where does the present impasse in relations between India and Pakistan lead to. While there is no gainsaying the fact that a limited war between both the countries is a distinct possibility, it can hardly be construed as an optimal solution in dealing with the vexed issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
History has clearly shown us that no viable solution, acceptable to the warring parties is ever possible through conflict and frankly the Sub Continent is so riven by socio-economic turmoil that any action that puts economic development at jeopardy is unwarranted. Add to this the fact that neither Nation has the wherewithal to fight such a conflict, given the large voids that exist within their militaries, apart from their commitments in counter-insurgency operations within.
There appears to be little choice but to follow the present policy of massive retaliation…
One cannot, therefore, help but conclude that options available are extremely limited given Pakistan’s intransigence and unwillingness to contemplate options other than its longstanding attempts to bring the Jammu and Kashmir under its own ambit. This is despite historical documentation that clearly shows that it has no locus-standii in the State and was made a party to the dispute given Mountbatten’s and Britain’s ulterior motives and Pandit Nehru’s folly.
There appears to be little choice but to follow the present policy of massive retaliation till it either forces Pakistan to reassess its actions or leads to a period of long drawn instability along the LOC which will impact Pakistan more than it does us. The disadvantage of such a policy is that the end state in such circumstances becomes difficult to predict or visualize though it does ensure that our economic progress will not be terribly impaired. All of this would also require the Government to take pro-active action to support our border population in resettlement and rehabilitation.