tenuous truce

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 31 May 2018 12:17:56

THE decision of the Directors General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan to follow in ‘letter and spirit’ the Ceasefire Pact of 2003, is quite likely to be only a tenuous truce which would be violated time and again by the traditional offender Pakistan. For, Pakistan has never felt that the term ‘letter and spirit’ is sacro-sanct and therefore inviolable. Much to the contrary, it has taken a sadist pleasure in inflicting damage on Indian territory and the people in border areas. Pakistani forces have attacked Indian territory habitually and have caused hurt to Indian pride just to needle India again and again. It is from this angle that we tend to feel that the agreement between the two Directors General of Military Operations will prove to be a most tentative truce that will have no meaning in the long run.

Given Pakistan’s style and substance, there is every reason to believe that Pakistan is trying to buy time and space to consolidate its defences and then to get back to the old habit. This might got necessitated due to the severe pounding the Border Security Force (BSF) gave Pakistan recently by demolishing its posts and soldiers in matter of seconds through precision-bombarding. So severe was that operation and so precise that ultimately the top-brass of Pakistan Rangers urged the BSF top-brass to spare them from attack. After that experience, the Pakistanis must have felt the need to buy a temporary truce during which to consolidate their defences and then to hit back.

There is no doubt, however, that India’s DGMO is fully aware of Pakistan’s method and manner. The Indian authorities will always be on the alert and be ready to hit back in real time if Pakistan indulges in any misadventure. The current policy of the Government of India to hit back at the earliest at any overture by Pakistan is proving its strategic merit. Obviously, India is not going to give up its avowed policy of hitting back, no matter what the DGMOs agree to doing or not doing.

The 2003 truce was welcomed even at that time, in the hope that peace and harmony would prevail between the two countries. That hope was dashed soon after the pact was signed, almost with a vengeance by Pakistan. Since that moment, for the past fifteen years, Pakistani troops have indulged in wanton violation of ceasefire as a matter of their State Policy to needle India all the time. This policy is similar to the policy even China adopts vis-a-vis India, as if it is a joint strategy of the two neighbours against India. True, India is conscious of all this and has adopted an appropriate response. Yet, the prevailing conditions indicate that whatever effort India makes to establish sanity in bilateral ties is more likely to be busted by Pakistan than not.

It may be recalled that just a couple of months ago, National Security Advisor Mr. Ajit Doval had had an extensive meeting with his Pakistani counterpart, deciding upon a similar agenda -- of not violating peace. But that meeting did not produce any positive result, thanks to Pakistan’s spoilt habit. This is quite likely to be a lasting experience even now, almost mocking at all the decisions taken by the two DGMOs.

Of course, the global reality is that such hostilities always exist and persist between all neighbours. The real issue is that Pakistan suffers from an inferiority complex particularly after the creation of Bangladesh out of East Pakistan by India’s military intervention. It is Pakistan’s innate desire to avenge that defeat. Emergence of proxy-war took place only post 1971 Bangladesh War. With such a eternally disturbed mindset, Pakistan cannot be expected to conduct itself in peace. Yet, India cannot stop trying, and the DGMO-level meet was an outcome of that philosophy. No matter the rate of success, India must try. Tenuous or otherwise, therefore, effort for peace must go on.