Comments on Articles about Indo-Pak War
Some very interesting comments were received about my two articles What if India Wins the War with Pakistan (sent in Jan 2002) and "War Against Pak Sponsored Terrorism" (sent in June 2002). The comments (and in some cases my replies) are given below.
Please feel free to write your reactions and thoughts. Debate is essential in any democracy.
With Best Wishes and Regards,
COMMENTS OF PROF. NK BANTHIYA,
RETIRED PROFESSOR, TECHNICAL TEACHERS TRAINING
Dear Chawla sahib,
This is an interesting and illuminating article. Objectives for any war with Pakistan have to be clear. I hope Delhi must be formulating its own objectives taking into consideration all prons and cons.
We (myself and Raj) were thinking that there is a lot of market for your type of articles in the States. This needs exploring. Also it is time you put copy right on your work, if it is published.
I think you must pursue this entry to wider and the world audience.
COMMENTS OF PROF. MU DESHPANDE, PRINCIPAL, REC,
It was nice receiving your mail on war with Pakistan. In my view it will be the most senseless misadventure ranking next only to Babri Masjid fiasco of the last century whrer the tangible losses will far outnumber imaginary gains.
My congrats for puting it nicely
COMMENTS OF SHRI PRASHANT JOSHI, NJ, USA
On 30 May 2002, at 19:31, Prashant joshi wrote:
I do agree that we need to change the mind set from defensive to aggressive but I have reservations on the way you suggested it. Creating problem in other country do not help your cause. They help temporary. There is not guarantee that same force will not go against us.
This is proven by previous examples of India's problem of LTTE and America's problem of OBL and Iraq. As far as human rights issue is concern, we don't have to talk a lot as world assumes that when country is Islamic.
On other hand we should see at China and Israel. If we see world news it always mention the central point of Pakistan that Kashmir is the only Muslim majority state in Hindu majority country. We need to tackle that by promoting settlements in Kashmir. We first need to remove article 370 and promote people from other part of country to by land or do business in Kashmir. This will also remove the kashmiri mentality that they need some special treatment than rest of the states. We need to make Kashmir as integral part not just by words but by deeds.
Second thing we need to do is book Hurriyat leaders under POTA. We should not tolerate nonsense talk and behaviour of them.
Third hold election in democratic way. There is no doubt that some of previous elections were rigged. Even election rigging happens in rest of the country too but not to that extend.
Fourth put international pressure to treat Pakistan as Iraq. This will help to remove nukes or at least put them on defensive. In fact we can to use war scare to do just that.
Discard the Indus water treaty. Though this will not have any immediate effect but will have long term effect. Pakistani common people's eyes will open once the are starved.
Let me know what do you think about this.
Dear Shri Prashant, Thanks for your letter. My suggestions of strategic objectives involve such a big paradigm change that I can understand that it will take some time to sink in.
A few points should help clarify matters:
I hope that I have made my point clear.
COMMENTS OF SHRI SURESH SHARMA, RETIRED ARMY
(My apologies for not remembering his rank)
Dear Mr. Chawla,
Encouraging or inciting insurgency in Pakistan does convey a message to Pakistan but is not enough. We need to analyze and identify the agencies and circumstances that generate and encourage insurgency. We have to cut off financial and political support to the rebels. These support basis exist both inside and outside our borders. A curfew in the border areas, more strict laws against the illegal arms and explosives and effective persecution of those who preach violence is a must. Talk of poverty and negligence as root cause of insurgency is a myth. Were it so, there should be more insurgency in PoK and Pakistan.
Lastly, encouraging insurgency in Pakistan can reduce insurgency in India, if and only of Pakistan leadership think logically. That may not be so.
S C Sharma
COMMENTS OF SHRI SURESH, ENGINEER, NOVELIST AND A BUDDING POLITICIAN
I read your article (war against paki-sponsored terrorism). You have raised three important issues.
First, western hypocrisy. I concur with you when you say Westerners use terrorism to their advantage. For instance, Osama is America's enemy ONLY now. In the eighties, he was their best friend because they had a common enemy: Soviet Union.
A few days after UN weapons inspector went to monitor Iraq in 1998, Clinton ordered his army to hit Iraq's military installations. How did they get the information? The so-called inspector was actually a CIA agent. Surprise! No wonder Saddam is afraid to let these people in. I am not his fan, but I am only saying that the world forgives America whenever it commits terrorist acts. If Osama or Saddam commits violent acts, then the whole world will judge them. WHat kind of justice is this?
I can go on and on about America's sins (starting from Bay of Pigs invasion to bio-warfare), but I'd rather not. I've made my point. However, I must admit Indians are obsessed with Americans. Not only politicians but most Indians worship US, as if they are the earth's protectors. They are the ones responsible for half the world's mess, and yet Indians keep licking their boots. The first step in OUR war against terror is the rejection of US intervention. Americans are the greatest terrorists in the world, and even if PAkistan wipes out India with a nuclear weapon, they'll still support Pakistan and advise India to maintain restraint.
Therefore, what you say about West is true, but I would also like to add that India should stop trusting them. We have trusted them, begged them, groveled at their feet for 55 years. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that they are not our true friends. The other problem is India is afraid to antagonize US and other western nations because we need foreign investments, financial aid etc. So we can go round and round, but we'll have to come to the same point: economy. Had we followed a mercantile policy instead of a stinking liberal policy, we would have been self-sufficient. If we are truly independent, then no nation would attack us or advise us, or threaten to impose sanctions every time we do it our way. We need an aggressive economic and foreign policy.
Having said that, we cannot change it now and must deal with the situation as it is. Like you say, creating problems within Pakistan is the best solution. Instead of asking US to declare it a terrorist state, or begging west to come to our rescue, we should take matters into our own hands. Infecting the entire population with plague or botulinum would be perfect, though barbaric. In any case, morality has never been my strong point so I don't give a camel's ass what others think.
Thirdly, you have asked if the Indian leaders are willing to act in this manner. Not in a million years! Indians are only concerned about one thing: westerner's approval. By destroying Pakistan, India will earn a bad name but could save millions of Indian lives. But Indian politicians (and even the ordinary man in this goddamn country, I suspect) don't care about that. All they care about is a pat from the white guy. Indians haven't given up their slave mentality yet, they still think Westerners are superior and are only too happy to follow their orders. I don't know how to say this, but I'll say this anyway: INDIANS ARE WHITE MAN'S DOGS. It is a very ugly thing to say, but YOU KNOW IT IS TRUE.
Unless Indians give up their boot-licking mentality, what you say cannot be done. Indians should reject West and believe in themselves. Then everthing is possible. So long as they consider westerners as their masters, these things are impossible because to execute your plan, we need a great deal of creativity. How can Indians be creative if their ONLY GOAL IN LIFE is to serve the White man? We need a radical change not just in economic/foreign policy, but in the psyche itself, otherwise what you say is absolutely impossible. The Indian's gutless behavior is legendary, that's why even poor pakis can beat the crap out of us.
I only hope things change in the future.
COMMENTS OF SHRI SHASHIKANT GUPTA, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR,
CURRENTLY AT NEWCASTLE (UK) FOR DOCTORAL STUDIES
It is nice to receive your articles about terrorism and Indian Strategies to counter that. But I think that Mr. Narshingh Rao was right in his strategy at his time and present Government is right in his strategy in the present time. Context in both cases are different, the main difference is as under:
India is ruled by Devegoda and Gujral, very weak. We could not do any thing.
So, I think both Govt. have dealt the issue in a right way. Rather I would say that it is appropriate time to attack Pakistan, since moral of Pakistanis is very low at the moment, and if there is a war, it will result in complete victory for India ( I am saying this based on study of Pakistani news papers over last two years) only problem is that of use of nuclear weapons by Pakistan. So aggressive diplomacy supported by real danger of war is the only solution.
I request your frank comments on my views.
Dear Shri Shashikant,
Just a few points:
COMMENTS OF PROF. PV INDIRESAN, FORMER DIRECTOR, IIT MADRAS
I agree to (a) and (c). I would rather not get involved with (b). We liberated Bangladesh and have got nothing but abuse for our pains. If those states want freedom, let them fight for it themselves.
Prof. Indiresan is referring to the three objectives suggested in the article. The objectives are reproduced here for easy reference.
COMMENTS OF PROF. ANIL GUPTA, IIM, AHMEDABAD
there is so much wrong with your perception about what pak wants, or what we should want that it will take many more words to say it
just enough to say that it is easier to go to war than to strike peace with in and without
there are genuine problem of governance in kashmir which no war will ever resolve
we better do some heart searching
all the best
COMMENTS OF SHRI SARABJIT SINGH, BARRISTER, LONDON, UK
June 26, 2002
Dear Shri Anil Chawla,
I read with interest your article of February 2002 entitled "What if we win the war with Pakistan?". I think that perhaps your article was slightly one-sided. You focused a lot on Pakistani-sponsored terrorism and the use of force to end this terrorism, but you did not explore the issue of why there is such terrorism in the first place.
I think the reason for the anti-Indian violence has a lot to do with India's denial of the right of self-determination to the Kashmiri people. Just as Israel denies this right to the Palestinians, India too keeps it foot firmly on the head of people in Kashmir who do not want to be controlled by India.
You quote with approval the statement from Machiaveli that there are three ways of holding other states- to despoil them, to settle in their land, or to impose a puppet government. You state that there is no fourth option. Surely there is a fourth option, which is to withdraw from someone else's land and respect their right of self-determination. You condemn western imperialism in some of your other articles, but what you are proposing is a form of Indian imperialism over Pakistan. You claim India has "no history of imperialism", but you seem to be seeking to create one.
Finally, you urge the Indian ruling class to unlearn the "ideals of peace and non-violence". On its own terms, such an action by India would be desperately suicidal. It would lead to the deaths of many Indians and Pakistanis. Furthermore, I would refer you to your article of December 2001 entitled "The Great War and India", in which you state that India should "take the moral high ground and preach peace and restraint to both parties". Do you not think that preaching peace on the one hand while promoting violence on the other smacks a little of hypocrisy?
Dear Shri Sarabjit,
I am sorry that I could not reply to your message earlier. I was very busy with my new website www.samarthbharat.com I finished the coding for the site yesterday and hopefully the site will be operational within a week's time.
Regarding your points, my views are as follows:
I expressed the same opinion in my article THE GREAT WAR AND INDIA dated 14 October, 2001.
"As a nation, India can take two courses. India can either act as an imperial power that has no desire to let go the land-mass known as Kashmir or alternatively India can display a willingness to let Kashmir go its own course (while integrating Jammu and Laddakh into India) and act as a country that condemns all imperialist forces and designs. The second course is the new path of non-alignment in the present war."
""India must also champion the cause of Shias, Ahmedias, Mohajirs, Hindus and Christians in Pakistan. As and when feasible, such minority groups should be provided moral, political, financial and other (read arms) support."
It is obvious that in both my articles I am arguing for giving up an inward-centric vision and am in favour of a value-based international policy. Shunning imperialism cannot mean an islolationist policy nor can it mean hiding one's head in sand as the present rulers of India do for every human rights violation in Pakistan.
Thanks & Regards,
2 August, 2002
Please write to me your comments about the above debate.
ANIL CHAWLA is an engineer by qualification but a philosopher by vocation and a management consultant by profession.
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