To understand what has brought about this transformation and how significant it is, not only for India but for the people of the subcontinent, you need to flash back to the summer of 1990. This is when Pakistan first employed nuclear blackmail seriously and India's establishment responded, first, with weak knees and confusion and, later, with denial.
It had a whole chapter on South Asia with a stunning revelation that in the summer of 1990, as the two armies stood muzzle-to-muzzle and Benazir upped the rhetoric, Robert Gates (later CIA head), on a peace mission to South Asia for George Bush Sr, had been told by the Pakistanis to warn India that should a war begin they will open it with a pre-emptive nuclear strike.
Even before the Pakistanis, we denied the story, the kingpins of the ‘security and political' establishment condemned me as gullible, India Today, where I then worked, as ‘immature', and the authors of the book as idiots. The book was roundly condemned by so many luminaries of our security establishment in so many publications that it nearly sent Windrem into depression.
It is just that each time I met him in New York subsequently, he had more material to back his facts.
It was much later that some of the players of 1990 opened up to me. Yes, the Pakistanis had sent out a nuclear threat. Yes, the V.P. Singh government did not know what to do and while Gujral did defiantly rant to Sahibzada Yakub Khan, warning him of the perils of this blackmail, the fact is that our establishment had failed to show the resolve to counter it.
At his Almaty press conference, he even named former National Security Council official Bruce Riedel and rubbished accounts of how US intelligence had picked evidence of Pakistan deploying its nuclear weapons during the Kargil conflict.
It was only when the Agni Series became operational did the Pakis change their tune, we Indians are too attached to soap opera type mentality attacking our immediate relatives we fail to see the Pakistani mentality. They are rank bullies and until we show resolve that they are going to be in danger they are going to keep acting this way. The solution is correct Education, local MIC with overwhelming numbers and attitude to finish them off.