India’s Dream List for Pakistan

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In a June 3 article by Kriti Upadhaya and Rahul Deans the authors have outlined and suggested a policy that India could follow to destroy Pakistan ( The reasoning behind the need for such a strategy is that according to them normal diplomacy has failed and that Pakistan has chosen the path of “Islamization and radicalization’ while India has chosen ‘liberalization”. They do not say anything about the Hindutwa wave sweeping across India with rabid Hindu mobs on the rampage and nor do the mention how even history is being distorted in this radical fundamentalist drive. Even the present government in India is backed by radical Hindu organizations. Apparently the authors have never visited Pakistan and have relied on lurid reports and writings that ignore Pakistan’s open society and values.

Unfortunately for them and for India’s policy makers the authors while suggesting a policy to destroy Pakistan have unwittingly unveiled the exact covert policy that India is following against Pakistan. Even dummies can now understand why India does not want to discuss restraint regimes and why it drums up and even pretexts to avoid talks. How can you opt for dialogue if you are acting against all that the dialogue is supposed to resolve. The arrest of a RAW spy active in Baluchistan exposed Indian designs and covert activities. Now these two authors have confirmed in the form of suggestions what India should be doing to Pakistan—except that India is already deep into the very policies being advocated.

The authors suggest a three pronged non-diplomatic strategy for Pakistan— economic strangulation, international isolation and silent strangulation and military moves. Here is a sampling of extracts from a summary of the paper:

‘’—Using economic strength as an instrument of foreign policy is the best way to deal with Pakistan, in a manner that satisfies India’s domestic objectives, while ensuring that its actions don’t attract adverse international—”.

“—Silent economic strangulation: Measures that can be taken quietly to exacerbate Pakistan’s economic problems—“

“—Trade: Remittances: Hit exports—”.

“—Afghanistan: The developing of Chabahar port in Iran and development work in Afghanistan are `baby steps’ in what should be a much larger intervention to develop Afghanistan and use it as a base to undermine Pakistan. Afghanistan has zero duties on many items which have high tariffs in Pakistan. Exporting these items to traders in Afghanistan, who smuggle them across into Pakistan, will not only undermine Pakistan’s import duty collections, but finance freedom fighters in Baluchistan – whose representatives can handle distribution into Pakistan. To facilitate this, India needs a military presence (to train the Afghan army) in Nimroz province – bordering Iran and Baluchistan (where it has built the only highway in the province), along with enhanced development of the railway from Iran to Afghanistan and increased development work. India’s relations with Iran and Afghanistan have never been better and their relations with Pakistan have never been worse, which gives India the perfect opportunity to enhance its profile in the region—“.

“—Water: Pakistan will soon be one of the most water stressed countries on earth (per capita water availability will soon be half of India’s). Even if India sticks to the provisions of the Indus water treaty – in which 80% of Indus water goes to Pakistan, it can take several legitimate measures to restrict water availability for Pakistan—“.

“—Work with Afghanistan to complete hydel projects on the Kabul-Kunar river system, (which contributes 16% of the total Indus river water available to Pakistan)—“.

“— Upper Indus rivers: Using the Kishenganga project arbitration award as a template, complete other identified `run of the river’ projects. India has exploited only about 6000 of the 20,000 MW of power potential from these rivers. Completing projects on the Indian side quickly also renders unviable Pakistan’s own hydel projects and reduces the flow of water to Pakistan in winter. India should also fully utilise the irrigation potential allowed under the treaty – currently only 0.79 million acres are irrigated, of the 1.34 million permitted—“.

“— Lower Indus rivers: Extending the Rajasthan canal to Kutch (a project the PM identified back in 2002) and completing the Sutlej-Yamuna canal, will sharply reduce water availability to Pakistan from the 3 lower Indus tributaries (the water from which is fully allotted to India under the IWT, but not fully exploited).Taken together, these measures will badly affect water availability for Pakistan’s rabi crop—“.

“–Exploit Internal divisions in Pakistan—-Kashmir dominates India-Pak discussions and puts India on the defensive. However, Pakistan’s own disaffected ethnic groups want `Azadi’ more than Kashmiri’s in India and form a larger proportion of Pakistan’s population. The increasing economic gap between India and Pakistan also means that income levels in Indian Kashmir (already higher than POK) would result in unfavourable comparisons with POK (where the level of autonomy and freedom is possibly less than in Indian Kashmir). This is missing from GOI’s narrative on Kashmir—“.

Pakistan faces serious internal conflicts from the Baluchi insurgency and from the Pak Army’s operations against the Pashtun population in its North West. If India helps Afghanistan develop TV and radio, it can have media channels (with a heavy Bollywood influence) in Pashto & Baluchi, disseminating news content influenced by India, which will strengthen the Baluchi & Pashtun people’s struggle against the Pakistan state. (e.g. Pak army kills Pashtun civilians in air strikes, though most members of terrorist groups are Punjabi). The targeted use of visas (for ethnic minorities), development work in Afghanistan, water projects that help Afghan Pashtun’s, trade from Afghanistan that helps Baluchi’s (who can also smuggle weapons) should all be undertaken.

“–Reduced availability of water will also exacerbate tensions between Sindh and Punjab and between South Punjab (Saraiki speaking) and North Punjab (Punjabi speaking)—“.

“–If India’s military doctrine aims at degrading Pakistan’s economic infrastructure – which can be done since its key cities, river headworks and power plants are close to the border, the impact would be quickly felt (e.g. in the form of crippling power shortages, or severed rail links) by Pakistani citizens—“.

“–India’s Cold start doctrine, which looks at a rapid mobilisation, can be tweaked, to include as the principle objectives, attacks on economic infrastructure rather than only Pakistani military formations. If India announces that it will conduct a limited duration war (e.g. punitive raids in response to a terrorist attack) and NOT seek to occupy Pakistani territory or demonstrably defeat the Pak army, the risk of the conflict going nuclear is reduced—“.

“—An Indian military presence on Pakistan’s Western border i.e. basing rights for the Indian Navy at Chabahar, an airbase (where the IAF `trains’ the Afghan air force), providing security in Nimroz province and protecting hydel projects would be a nightmare scenario for Pakistani defence planners, with the psychological impact well in excess of India’s actual military presence—“.

World Silent on Indian Terror

There is also an article by Mr Satyarbrata Pal that targets and runs down the CPEC (The China Pakistan Economic Corridor Project) that is also in India’s cross hairs——“All it (CPEC) will need is a substantial attack on Chinese workers on the corridor, which can be blamed on India, to force the government to cave in and agree to the army’s demand. If that attack coincides with some other crisis which would already have placed the government under pressure, a common enough predicaments for Nawaz Sharif, the army will get what it wants, in the administration of CPEC and beyond. CPEC may or may not resolve one power crisis; it is likely to set off another. The game will change in Pakistan, but perhaps not in the way the government had expected”–. So is India going to create a crisis and engineer an attack on Chinese workers and is India trying to muddy the waters for the civil and military in Pakistan?

The authors fail to indicate what Pakistan would do or maybe is doing against such an Indian strategy. Fortunately no one from Pakistan is likely to enlighten them.  One thing is for sure, Pakistan is not going to roll over and play dead and accept India’s machinations— it never has and never will. So it is up to India to create the sort of environment it wants because its own exploitable vulnerabilities are far worse than what the two authors have highlighted. The sort of miscalculations that these authors are making is just the right way to move towards a catastrophe for which Indian policies will be responsible.


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