Don't withdraw troops
Siachen is a strategically important region for India. And that is the reason why India has held it for so long sacrificing men and machines there. Now, Manmohan Singh in his diplomatic impetuousness is making moves to withdraw Indian troops from Siachen, in return for a similar gesture from Pakistan. According to reports, convenient people are being planted in the right places, who would sail along with Manmohan Singh in the plan. The refusal of the government to give the benefit of one year in the age controversy to the Army Chief has to be seen in this background.
The Prime Minister who refuses to retire any bureaucrat insisted that VK Singh should go. The government took an adamant stand on it, one of those rare occasions when it showed its muscle. V K Singh is being replaced with Bikram Singh. A fine soldier he is. But he has a Pakistani daughter-in-law. Hence, it is believed that he would be more amenable to a give and take deal with Pakistan. Only, it is India giving and Pakistan taking. Army chiefs till now have been unwilling to even discuss the possibility of troop withdrawal from Siachen. India’s foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai and Sonia’s handpicked Pulok Chatterjee (Principal Secretary to PM) are all eager on the plan. There is no dearth of pro-Pakistan politicians in India. When it comes to the western neighbour, they fall upon each other to support any move that would benefit it.
Pakistan has given much of the areas in PoK to China to make roads and put up watch towers. It would repeat this if Siachen is left unmanned by the Indian side which will leave India face to face with China in a covert Pak aggression. If reports in the media are to be believed, the Indian side is already working out the details of the proposed deal, which would propel Manmohan Singh as a man of peace at the international level. Pakistan has ditched India at every point in history and is the most unreliable country in the neighbourhood which is pursuing a proxy war against India 24×7.
Ever since independence, one cannot recall one gesture that Pakistan made to India which could be construed as a good will or was an honest move. But India on the other hand has been bending backwards to accommodate Pakistan in various ways. Even on the issue of PoWs, Pakistan has been maintaining that there are no Indians in its jails while there have been several proofs that many Indians are languishing there. India on the other, handed over all the Pakistani PoWs at the end of war.
The atrocities that Pakistanis committed on the Indian soldiers during Kargil cannot be forgotten that easily. Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja was tortured and killed. Ajmal Kasab, fattening in the jail on Indian tax payers’ money is another testimony to Pakistan’s glib and facile. India has nothing to gain from cozying up to Pakistan. On the other hand, it will benefit immensely from declaring Pakistan terra non-grata.
Ever since the UPA came to power, it has been going out of the way to please Pakistan. The Prime Minister’s infamous statement calling Pakistan a victim rather than perpetrator of terror is a blatant example of this. India gave Pakistan MFN status, opened up visa regulations, allowed FDI from there (it is a mystery how a country that lives on American doles can bring FDI), eased travel between Kashmir and PoK and the UPA government is now mulling a move to allow ‘reformed’ terrorists back into India. It is not out of place to mention here that the Prime Minister of India today is not an elected representative and probably because of that, feels he is above accountability except to Mrs Sonia Gandhi who selected him. In that, he does not even owe it to the Congress party. The UPA itself is clinging by the teeth to majority, surviving from day to day with the cooperation of the ‘allies’ and the opposition.
It is imperative that Manmohan Singh be stopped on this peace path. There is a saying that has often been heard on the hate streets of India ‘lad ke liya Pakistan, haske lenge Hindustan’ (we won Pakistan by struggle, we will win India by guile). Manmohan Singh can by no stretch of imagination be called gullible or naive. That he is in power for a definite agenda has been clear for some time now. If buying peace with Pakistan at the cost of nation’s security is part of the agenda, he must not be allowed to succeed.