Photograph of Anil Chawla

Comments on Articles about Indo-Pak War

Original articles written by Anil Chawla

Comments received from readers about articles regarding Indo-Pak War. The articles were dated January and June 2002.

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,

Anil Chawla


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.


NK Banthiya


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



On 30 May 2002, at 19:31, Prashant joshi wrote:

Dear Anil,

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.

Prashant Joshi


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:

  1. Kashmir is not the central issue in the problem. I think Kashmir is a liability for India and it makes no sense for us to make Kashmir as the central concern of our policy apparatus.

  2. The central issue is Pakistan and its ideology of "two-nation theory". Unless we are able to demolish the "two-nation theory", there can be no peace for India (even if Kashmir problem is solved). India needs to catch the bull by the horns and demonstrate that the theory has failed to provide a sustainable basis for a country (Pakistan).

  3. Liberation of Sindh will help India since it will make Pakistan a land-locked state. Personally, I feel that Pakistan will get nothing by even winning Kashmir but will lose the critical access to sea by losing Sindh. Pakistan will be a caged tiger after it loses Sindh.

  4. I do not care as much for international opinion. The world respects a strong willed country and hates someone who just keeps coming crying for help and support. China is respected even though it is not a democracy while India is despised since it is seen to be weak-willed. The support to minorities of Pakistan and caring for human rights in Pakistan has the twin objectives of first, getting a finger in the way the country is run and secondly creating an atmosphere which does not lead to grwth of fanaticism. There is a national interest angle even in this ethical support. A Pakistan running full stream on the fanatic Islamic path is the greatest danger to Indian liberal democratic society. Liberalism in Pakistan is essential for India to survive as a secular democratic country.

  5. Messing in Srilanka was a blunder because we were messing in a friendly country without any strategic direction. But creation of Bangladesh in 1971 was really worth it. India has been spared the pain of fighting in two directions. Yes, India could have been more tough with Bangladesh. India could have asked Bangladesh to pay for its war of liberation and could have retained its direct control in that country. That would have needed a will to power that India seems to lack. But all the same creation of Bangladesh has been good. Creation of a separate country in Sind will help India even more and will sound the death knell of Pakistan.

  6. I do not agree with starving any country's people. I think India needs to make friends at the people level and simultaneously attack at the foundations of the Pakistani state. I look forward to a day when advancing Indian army will receive floral welcome on the streets of Karachi, Hyderabad, Bahavalpur and even Lahore and Islamabad (like the way they received in 1971 in Dhaka).

I hope that I have made my point clear.

Anil Chawla

(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


Dear Anil,

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.



Resp Sir,

Sadar Pranam,

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:


  1. Indian Economy was very weak, we could not effort war

  2. Our friend USSR was breaking and very weak, and we were not able to develop friendship with USA

  3. USA still friend of Pakistan

  4. And hence we did not had any option except that followed by Narsingha Rao Govt.


India is ruled by Devegoda and Gujral, very weak. We could not do any thing.


  1. Taliban starts ruling Afghanistan since 1995 and hence terrorism glorified in Pakistan. they became expert in terrorism, they are miles ahead in terrorism as compared to India, and hence India can not beat Pakistan in the field of terrorism,

  2. India develops friendship with USA. At the same time USSR also become strong again and also become friend of USA

  3. In the time of Clinton, even before Kargil, USA starts distancing from Pakistan. And USA is worried about Bin Laden and Taliban.

  4. There is a consensus against terrorism in the world after 9/11.

  5. Pakistan's economy is very weak, Pakistan can not bear the war, and hence real threat of war is enough to control it, and create pressure on other countries to control Pakistan by economic means.

  6. Friendship of USA with Pakistan was temporary, now USA does not need Pakistan any more, rather it is in their interest to come out openly against policies of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism, which are still present in Pakistan.

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.

With regards,


Shashi Kant


Dear Shri Shashikant,

Just a few points:

  1. India does not need to beat Pakistan at terrorism. India cannot and should not take to infiltration the way Pakistan has been doing. The trick is to use the arms ammunitions and trained militants available so freely in Pakistan against Pakistan. That is not impossible. If Narasimha Rao could do it, there is no reason why it cannot be done today.

  2. Defeating Pakistan (without having a plan of action for post-war scenario) may lead to a complete anarchy in Pakistan. That will be very bad for India.

  3. International consensus that we are seeing is illusory. Western nations are united in fighting terrorism only to the extent that it suits them. Pakistan is even today their major foothold in the troubled waters. Hence western powers have different strategic interests compared to India. We must take their help and also help them but the primary concern must be our own strategic plan and goals.

  4. Threatening war again and again follows the principle of diminishing returns. Vajpayee Government has lost credibility within the country as well as outside by resorting to this game repeatedly.

  5. There is an old rule "Never underestimate your enemy". I think that India will win the war but I do not wish to underestimate a nuclear power. Pakistan has the capacity to inflict such heavy damages on India that a victory over Pakistan may not appear to be worthwhile.


Anil Chawla


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.

  1. Protection of rights of minorities in Pakistan in a truly secular manner.

  2. Liberation of Sindh and Baluchistan from the tyranny of Punjab dominated army and bureaucracy

  3. Protection of human rights in general and in particular protection of rights of women and children


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

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?


Sarabjit Singh


Dear Shri Sarabjit,

I am sorry that I could not reply to your message earlier. I was very busy with my new website 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:

  1. The problem is not Kashmir problem, it is Jammu and Kashmir problem. Jammu and Laakh are part of the state of J&K. Jammu and Ladakh are primarily Hindu and Buddhist populated. They want to be a part of India, but are prevented by the present situation to be so.

  2. The population of Jammu and Ladakh is more than that of Kashmir but the representation of Kashmir is more in the legislative assembly since the J&K Government does not want to revise the constituencies as per the new population realities. Moreover J&K Government has refused to give voting rights to all those who have moved to Jammu or Ladakh in the past fifty years. This has led to a skewed representation in J&K assembly whereby the people of Jammu and Ladakh are denied their democratic rights.

  3. The present demand of trifurcation of J&K has been welcomed in Jammu and Ladakh but has been vehemently opposed in Kashmir since for past five decades, Jammu and Ladakh have been treated as colonies of Kashmir and the ruling classes of Kashmir are not willing to let Jammu and Ladakh go.

  4. The major argument against trifurcation is that since it is broadly on communal lines, it will lead to Kashmir going to Pakistan. This argument is advanced by Kashmiris as well as by intellectuals in India. By accepting this argument, we accept that a Muslim majority state cannot be a part of India and will sooner or later be a part of Pakistan. This is a reaffirmation of the Two-nation theory of Jinnah. If this theory is accepted, India cannot remain a secular country. It cannot be acceptable that Muslims will get all rights as a minority but will refuse to give similar rights to Hindus as soon as Hindus are in minority. The problem in Kashmir has arisen because of the ethnic cleansing carried out there by forcing Hindus (and Sikhs) to leave from the valley. If this ethnic cleansing is accepted, there can be no justification for not letting Hindus do the same ethnic cleansing in areas where they are in majority.

  5. The reasons why no one in India wants to lose Kashmir are varied. Some people are emotional about it. On the other hand the intellectual and political class is worried that it will open up the wounds of partition afresh. If Kashmir goes to Pakistan, there is fear that the country will see a round of bloodshed and ethnic cleansing as was seen in 1947.

  6. The other day I met a retired bureaucrat. He told me that Morarji Desai had told the Pakistani President that he was ready to give Kashmir to Pakistan if Pakistan was ready to accept 150 million Muslims along with Kashmir. Pakistani President refused the offer.

  7. Personally, I do not accept the argument that trifurcation will lead to Kashmir going to Pakistan. I feel that we should trifurcate the state. We should trust Kashmiris and hope that they remain in India. However, if they do decide to throw their lot with Pakistan, I think that we should not stop them. Though the country must safeguard its strategic interests as well as the security and safety of all Indians and Indian properties. This should also include the properties of all those who have been forced to migrate from Kashmir.

  8. 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."

  9. I am firmly of the opinion that India must shed its inward-centric vision and look beyond its borders. This does not mean that India should become imperialist. Concerns for basic human values and principles that transcend borders cannot be called Imperialism by any stretch of imagination. In my article THE GREAT WAR AND INDIA dated 14 October 2001, I have appealed for peace and said "Let India prepare to heal and rejuvenate rather than join the mad war fuelled by imperial greed. India was a world Guru for a long time. Let India prepare to be a world guru once again." This is a call against imperialism. In my article War Against Pak Sponsored Terrorism dated 30 May 2002, I said ,

  10. ""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,

Anil Chawla
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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