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The Indo-Pak Imbroglio: Retaliation and its Consequences
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The Indo-Pak Imbroglio: Retaliation and its Consequences, 3.8 out of 5 based on 11 ratings
Issue Net Edition | Date : 17 Nov , 2016

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.

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The Indo-Pak Imbroglio: Retaliation and its Consequences, 3.8 out of 5 based on 11 ratings
The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Brig Deepak Sinha

is a second generation para trooper and author of “Beyond the Bayonet: Indian Special Operations Forces in the 21st Century.” He is currently a consultant with the Observer Research Foundation.

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3 thoughts on “The Indo-Pak Imbroglio: Retaliation and its Consequences

  1. Our Prime Minister deserves to be congratulated for this bold decision of demonetization. In a country, where all decisions are with just one consideration of .vote bank; such action with humongous ramification for BJP can only be taken by a risk taker. What is more surprising that Govt successfully maintained secrecy – not a minor achievement? Demonetisation alone cannot be panacea for black money, unless followed up by a slew of actions to prevent growth or generation of black money. If Govt really means business to eliminate black money then tough decisions have to be taken now or else gains from demonetization will be squandered away.
    The gravity of the problem can be gauged from the fact that despite weekly restrictions of Rs 20,000 and daily of Rs 10, 000; in just few days Anti Corruption Bureau in Gujarat arrested a Superintending Engineer and SDO, Kandla Port Trust for accepting bribe of Rs 4 lakhs- all in new Rs 2000 new Notes. Thus in just a matter of year or so, one can expect a booming black money economy. The fake currency menace may also again rear its ugly head sooner than expected. It should not be difficult to curb growth of black money by mandatory use of PAN or Aadhar Card for all transactions. Most Indians possess Aadhar card today.

  2. THE ARMS DALALS SEE INDIA AS A BIG MARKET AND THE HEROIN TRADING OPIUM GROWING TRANSPORTER PAKISTANI GENERALS AS GOOD BIDDERS TO RAISE THE TEMPERATURE IN KASHMIR . THE UPPED ANTE OF GENERAL RAHEEL SHARIEF AND HIS RAWALPINDI GENERALS HAS RESULTED IN EXPEDITING OF INDIAN AQUISITIONS WORTH BILLIONS FROM RUSSIA FRANCE ISRAEL AMERICA AND OTHER WESTERN ARMS SUPPLIERS . THIS IS THE PRICE INDIA PAYS FOR A DEFUNCT MOD , HIGHER DEFENCE ORGANISATION AND UNDEVELOPED ARMS INDUSTRY WHERE THE UNION LED PSUS AND ORDNANCE FACTORIES LAY WASTE PRODUCING LOW QUALITY SUB STANDARD OUTDATED EQUIPMENT WHICH THE ARMY REJECTS .TILL SUCH TIME DEFENCE REFORMS ARE NOT DONE THE ARMED FORCES HIGHER DEFENCE ORGANISATION NOT PROFESSIONALISED AND GOVT ENTERPRISES DISINVESTED THE KASHMIR CAULDRON WILL CONTINUE TO BOIL SUCKING VITAL RESOURCES AND MANPOWER EVERY YEAR . NOW IS THE TIME FOR THE BJP GOVT TO BITE THE BULLET AND FOR ONCE RAISE THE BAR HIGH THAT A FAST GROWING INDIAN ECONOMY AT OVER 9 % EXPANDS AND OUTPACES THE PAK ECONOMY BY 20 TO 30 TIMES AND INDIAN ARMED FORCES EQUIPPED WITH INDIAN DESIGNED , MANUFACTURED ARMS FROM 30 % TO OVER 70 %.. INTEGRATED THEATRE COMMANDS WITH INTELLIGENCE AND MOBILE FORCES AND AIRPOWER READY TO PUNISH PAKISTAN FOR ANY SMALL INFRINGEMENT OF THE LOC , BORDER .

  3. While possibility of limited war was always an option in past, but best be avoided because of its economic consequences; yet, transgressions on the border cannot be ignored and requires immediate and credible response. The inflow of fund to militants in valley raised locally and pumped in from Pakistan may be affected temporarily, but likely to resume again in a year’s time. Therefore, this lull in militant’s activities is unlikely to last long. Even earlier, security features of currency were never compromised, but then it was indistinguishable for a common man, hence it is not a demise and end of counterfeit notes in India. but just a temporary freeze. Pakistan is unlikely to mend its ways and terrorism will continue to be its corner stone of foreign policy against India. We cannot hope of a quiet western front in years to come. Mr Modi definitely needs to be lauded for not being pusillanimous in taking decision against Pakistan or black money hoarders. Pakistan, terrorists and black money hoarders are all enemies of this country and require harsh response.
    Politicians in the name of common man are enacting drama because of their own financial interests.

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