Pakistan must silence guns or else…

By Deepak Nagpal | Updated: Oct 26, 2013, 12:02 PM IST

India aims to become a superpower in the near future, if not in 2020 at least. For a country with such ambitions and a billion-plus population, it is hard to fathom its failure to protect its borders.

I am not talking about the terrorists or militants who attempt to infiltrate into Indian territory regularly from across the border or the Line of Control. I am trying to put the arch lights on Pakistani Army troops who have been firing mortars, shells et al into India for the past many months, continuously.

They have not just violated the bilateral ceasefire, whose sanctity is in serious doubt even though New Delhi may want us to believe otherwise – but also humanity by decapitating our soldiers’ bodies INSIDE OUR TERRITORY. And in the most outrageous fashion, taking the head away!

While the violation of ceasefire was nothing new, continuing ever since the cessation of hostilities was announced in 2003, its intensity has increased manifold in the recent past.

Over the past few days, as many as 50 Indian Army and BSF posts have been targeted in one go by the Pakistani Army, using small arms, rockets and mortars.

At the last count, such violations this year alone stood over 200. The hostilities on the border and LoC, in which several Indian jawans have been killed and injured, have increased especially since the taking over of Nawaz Sharif as Pakistan’s prime minister. It may be recalled that Sharif – in his third term as the PM of Pakistan – was one in whose regime Kargil War of 1999 took place (even if he feigned ignorance about the military’s designs).

Recently, the Indian Army battled 30-40 infiltrators in Keran sector of Jammu and Kashmir for 15 days – it was one of the biggest and longest anti-infiltration battles the state had ever seen.

And despite all this, business as usual continues in the nation’s capital, New Delhi. Indian Prime Minister continues to meet his Pakistan counterpart (in New York), ministers continue to make statements condemning the shelling, but no concrete action is taken.

The apathetic attitude of the Indian government towards the Pakistani action on the border/LoC has angered Indian citizens.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister too was forced to break his silence, calling on the Union government to explore “other options”.

"Obviously this cannot be a one-sided affair. It cannot be a situation where we are the receiving end and no response is given," Omar Abdullah said.

What the nation is demanding from the government is action – not just retaliatory and muted but pre-emptive and loud. Pakistan needs to be told in very clear terms that it cannot take our silence for granted. Silence doesn’t always mean weakness – it could be a policy to maintain peace broadly, but with a limit.

Our Army must strike from where Pakistani troops have been launching rockets numerous times each day – killing and injuring troops and scaring away civilians from areas close to border and LoC, making them refugee in their own land.

While I am not propagating war here – no one wants that because its consequence could be massive for both nuclear-armed India and Pakistan – I am definitely calling for military action against the violators of ceasefire. Pakistan should be told it is time to silence the guns and sit across the table with genuine intentions.

Manmohan Singh meeting Nawaz Sharif in a New York 5-star hotel while the latter’s troops are firing rockets and mortars into India is JUST NOT ACCEPTABLE to the Indian public.

When we are not cowards, why should we take this bullying? A nation of one billion must stand up to Pakistan. Otherwise, we will have to deal with what Sharif is trying to do – internationalise Kashmir issue in a bid to strengthen his vote bank back home.

We surely are not that stupid!