Raja Ram wrote:How can India react? There is two school of thoughts. One is not to get provoked and give the room to the PA by agreeing to talk to the civilian leadership, whilst keeping the pressure on them to refrain from terror attacks through the jehadi group. It would call for significant US support from the Indian side to add to the pressure.
The second is to recognise the opportunity and go after securing Indian interests by way of holding back on talks or normalization, increasing diplomatic pressure, preparing for averting terror attacks that will be attempted and carefully using military pressure through acquisition of game changers, series of well designed military exercises oriented towards demonstrating retribution strikes deep inside pakistan, starting covert operations to furtner accentuate the widening differences between regions internally. Let us bear in mind that all this would mean confronting and conflicting the US.
Judging by recent actions of the GoI it seems to me that option 1 is being persued.
Pakistan is caught in a cycle of peace making with the Pakiban and then launching offensives against them. After every operation and peace phase, the Taliban grows and consolidates its position. After every operation, the unity of the Army goes down, and more areas move into the category of no government writ. The increasing number of criminal and political gangs, secession, political chicanery, all feed into this process.
The ongoing operations have provided the Taliban with more raw materials in the form of 2.5 million IDPs. When the next phase of peace making comes, the Taliban are sure to expand and grow even more. The question is, 'when comes the tipping point?'
This process depends on peace between India and Pakistan. A conflict between the two countries brings forth a completely new dynamic, where the forces in Pakistan would coalesce, and provide a setback to the natural disintegration of Pakistan.
So basically, the war between India and Pakistan is one of nerves. What happens first? Cometh the Tipping Point first or cometh the Provocation to War first? In the second scenario, India has much to lose. In the first scenario, there will be some environmental blowback. If need be, India can go to war also, but the preference would be for first scenario.
The third alternative of a peaceful and stable Pakistan is a mirage and can be ignored.
If the preference is for first scenario, then India would have to play this game of peace talks and then breaking them off, while at the same time ratcheting up our internal security. In this scenario, it may become necessary to even take a few blows.
My 2 cents prescription too would be to have a combination of both schools of thought
, especially including covert operations, support for Baluchis, and a strong troops buildup on the border with the first school of thought. Our pressure should remain directed at getting at the leadership of the Pakjabi terror organizations.
We should perhaps consider the option of hiring head hunters to get at the likes of Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar, Dawood Ibrahim, dead or alive. Consideration the proliferation of gangs and other violent groups in Pakistan, some would be open to the idea. Do we already have a bounty on their heads?
Another thing we can do is that after some terrorist strike in India, besides the things we already do, we should consider hitting at some military targets, which do not have the capability of increasing tensions and rhetoric to the point of forcing a war upon us, targets like navy ships, etc. We should do this consistently! Some token retribution is called for!Actually peace talks at the moment would be contra-productive, because once peace talks resume, the Obama Administration may start putting pressure on India to accommodate Pakistan on Kashmir. If the peace talks remain in deep freeze, the Kashmir question stays frozen as well, and Obama has no room to intervene.