Terrorist attacks such 26/11 Mumbai carnage can be deterred only by effective retaliation which will serve as a deterrence against future attacks. What is an effective retaliation for the 26/11 attacks ? In my view, it is bombing of LeT camps in Pakistan and Pakistan-held territories. That means war declared by Pakistan. War is however a terrible event in human affairs. It is against the finer and civilised instinct of the human being and a temporary triumph of the base emotions. Wars are imposed either on evil intentions or by miscalculations. Civilised societies to survive have to be prepared for such wars. My quick answer thus to the question whether war with Pakistan is then inevitable is: Yes!
My substantive answer is that the war will be imposed on us anyway whether we retaliate or not, by the compulsions of Pakistan'spolity, and we should prepare for a formal war with that country which could come anytime within the next four years. The terror genie is now out of the bottle in Pakistan, and an informal ad hoc proxy war is already on between India and Pakistan through Pak-trained terrorists. It cannot be ended without a decisive formal war. We cannot also go on bleeding like we have during last 20 years, each occasion at the time and place of choosing of the terrorists of Pakistan. To top it all, we are being dished out Pakistan'sinane argument on the need providing ?proof?, by a government which is a puppet of the trainers of these terrorists.
Unlike the 1965, 1971, and 1999 wars with Pakistan, this time we should first prepare instead react by reflecting on who are our real allies in this coming war, and what the post-war situation of a destructed and disarmed Pakistan should be. In 1971, USSR was claimed to be our ally, but it would not let us smash the West Pakistan military machine when the Pakistan army was on all fours on the floor.
This time, because of nuclear weapons on both sides, the war has to be decisive. Pakistan must be sanitized and/or further dismembered beyond recognition. The new Pakistan or the former Pakistans must be led by those who understand India'sretaliatory capacity.
One thousand years of the foreign invasions of this land have proved that Hindus will not submit, no matter what the tribulation and personal tragedy. Iran, Babylonia, Turkey, Egypt and others of the Middle East had in contrast submitted and became majority Muslim countries within a few decades. But Hindus as a whole, despite 1000 years of brutality and impoverishment, have stood defiantly. In Akhand Hindustan, we are still 75 per cent of the total population despite all the atrocities.
But now defiance is no more enough. Now we must decisively and finally settle the issue and defeat our centuries? old tormentors and the violent theology behind it.
In my last column I had stated that Islamic terrorism cannot be fought unless we adopt a virat brihad Hindutva concept of identity for Indians, which identity I defined as the mindset of Hindus, who are proud of their Hinduness, and ready to co-opt Muslims and Christians as blood brothers and sisters if they too proudly acknowledge the truth that their ancestors are Hindus and that despite change of religion their culture does not change [Culture is a secular concept defined on the myriad of human relations and attitudes].
Hindus and such Muslims and Christians together constitute the Hindustan nation. All others are either permanent residents or foreigners, but therefore should have no voting rights. NRIs abroad who also acknowledge to be of Hindustani descent can be permitted to be voters in India.
This mindset in responding to terror must focus on retaliation as a deterrent against terrorism, which is the real meaning of ?zero tolerance? for terrorism. The retaliation cannot be confused with vengeance but has to be defined as effective actions to nullify the political objectives of the patrons of terrorists.
What is, for example, the retaliation for the 26/11 terrorist attack on Mumbai? Or for that matter, the ?menu? of retaliation for all the terrorist attacks since 1989 beginning with when 500,000 Hindus and Sikhs were driven out by terrorists from the Kashmir valley?
The retaliation has to be tailored in each terrorist attack to nullify the political objective of the patrons which objective motivates that attack.
In the 26/11 attack, the political objective was to demonstrate to the world that India is a wobbly, flabby, and corrupt country that cannot defend itself, that anyone can bribe his way with Indians to achieve his nefarious goal. Hence, they want to demonstrate that India is a corroding civilisation, and unworthy being a reliable ally of any country. That is why foreign tourists of friendly countries, such as US and Israel, were chosen for murder.
The terror patrons of Pakistan have, in my opinion, achieved substantially this objective by putting a question mark on our integrity as a people. How could such an operation, foreigners now ask, be put through without the intelligence having a clue? Is it because India ignored timely US intelligence of September that made the LeT postpone its dastardly project scheduled of September 27th to 26/11?
The truth is more bizarre: Intelligence Bureau and RAW did know, but the information was not acted on by the Maharashtra government. Why? It is rubbish to say that the information was not ?actionable?, i.e., not specific enough to take counter measures. I have had access to some of the intelligence supplied to the Maharashtra government, some of it are dated two years ago, which disproves this claim.
One such advisory actually states that LeT-trained terrorists numbering about a dozen are likely to enter from the sea in the Gateway area, and take control of high profile targets such as hotels! Is this not actionable? Or was the Maharashtra Police prevented from taking action by Ahmed Patel on behalf of Sonia Gandhi as alluded to by former Chief Minister of the state, Mr. Narayan Rane?
I thought therefore the Opposition in Parliament would have demanded at least a Commission of Inquiry headed by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court to go into all the lapses. Instead they wallowed in talking of national unity. This is not the time to talk of unity with the government. We are not yet in a formal war to need to talk of unity with the government. A horrible incident had taken place, and it is over now. Hence, it is the duty of the Opposition to put the government in the dock, and at least demand a Commission to go into the lapses. When a formal war is launched we can at that stage unite with the government in a show of unity.
But not now. Since the UPA chairperson Ms. Sonia Gandhi has yet not condemned Pakistan for allowing its territory to be used by ?non-state actors?, such a Commission is all the more necessary. Pakistan cannot be allowed to wash its hands off responsibility in this by silence of those who are paid to speak in Parliament by the tax-payer on behalf of the Indian nation.
Considering that the first employer in London in 1965 of Ms. Sonia Gandhi was a Pakistani called Salman Thassir, a dubious business magnate with perhaps ISI connection, and that the guest of honour at the select gathering of just 35 invitees to her daughter Priyanka'swedding, was Farida accompanied by her husband Munir Ataullah, both known bag persons of prominent Pakistan politicians with ISI connections, hence, it is a matter of concern that Ms. Sonia Gandhi has not condemned Pakistan for the 26/11 attack, and in fact she has not condemned even one terrorist attack starting Mumbai 1993.
Coming back to the question of retaliation for the Mumbai 26/11 attack, I advocate US-Israel-India coordinated aerial strikes at all the prominent training bases of the LeT and JeM in PoK, which action, since it is on a part of India, will not mean an act of war, whatever Pakistan may think. This is the mirror-image of the argument that Pakistan itself has used while invading India in 1999 in the Kargil sector i.e., since they consider J&K not a part of India, hence Pakistan can invade it!
The US and Israel will probably not agree at present to help in a military strike since India has never come to the assistance of US or Israel in their hour of grief. In fact when on the day Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003, a joint BJP-Congress resolution was passed by the Lok Sabha condemning US ?imperialism? in Iraq! Nor have we ever offered Israel help whenever a terrorist attack took place in that country?
Hence, to get the US and Israel effectively on our side in this war on terror, we too have to commit to help them in this war, not merely by ministers paying a visit to Washington and waxing eloquent about being ?natural allies?. For all their duplicity, Pakistan under Musharraf in contrast had made a world of difference to the US in its war on terror. Hence the soft corner for Pakistan in US and Europe.
For example, when New York Times reporter Daniel Pearl'sthroat was slit by LeT, the Pakistan government caught the mastermind Omar Sheikh [whom we had released in the IC hijack matter at Kandahar] and sent him to Guantanomo prison without making noises about ?proof?. More Al Qaeda leaders have been captured or killed by the US with the cooperation of Pakistan than by direct action of the US. Nor can the US keep the Taliban out of Afghanistan without the active support of Pakistan. Hence, it is understandable that the US is in a catch-22 situation on Pakistan and we in India, if we want US cooperation, have to concretely provide a way out of that.
If we strike at the terrorists camps in PoK, the various governments of Pakistan cannot sit quiet. There are four other governments of Pakistan besides one headed by Zardari. In addition to his government, there is the Army government operating through the seven corp commanders, the ISI government working abroad through fake currency and beautiful women, the Mullah government through Friday prayers in mosques and by brainwashing in madrasas, and the de facto Taliban government in the frontier areas. Anyone of these four governments can declare a war against India on the war cry of jehad, and the other four will have to follow. So war is the outcome of any retaliatory action of India.