By Mihir Bholey
Those following the Pakistani media know Hassan Nisar as a forthright commentator. He is always at loggerheads with the radical elements on the Pakistani TV channels. While underlining the devastating impact of nuclear war, Hassan said that in such an eventuality Pakistanis can still survive as they can find shelter in numerous Islamic nations across the world. But where will the poor ‘Hindus’ go whose major population is confined to just one nation?
His statement raises some crucial questions. First, does he admit their army has an Islamist agenda disguised as the Kashmir issue? Second, is he confident that people on the Pakistani side will survive the retaliatory action? Furthermore, will they even have time to flee the country and seek asylum? And most importantly, is he blissfully ignorant of the innocent Syrian refugee’s plight for whom their so-called brother Islamic nations had shut their door?
Religious militancy or terrorism?
Over the years, the deep-rooted hatred nurtured by the Pakistani establishment against what they call ‘Hindu’ India has made the Pakistani society captive of war-thirsty generals and numerous jihadi outfits. General Musharraf in his 25th October 2015 interview with Wajahat Saeed Khan of Dunya TV admitted, that to serve the cause of Pakistan, the establishment in 1979 introduced religious militancy. They also created the Mujahedeen to counter the Russians. They promoted the Taliban and gave them weapons to fight in Afghanistan. Haqqani and Osama Bin Laden were their heroes. But, in the changed situation, they have become villains and are killing their own people. Religious militancy has converted into terrorism. Musharraf made no comments about who created this irreversible mess. It is gradually isolating Pakistan and inching it towards being declared a terrorist state.
But, in the changed situation, they have become villains and are killing their own people. Religious militancy has converted into terrorism. Musharraf made no comments about who created this irreversible mess. It is gradually isolating Pakistan and inching it towards being declared a terrorist state.
Could the nuclear threat be legitimate?
If Pakistan continues to create the audacious nuclear hype, it is both naive and dangerous. If not restrained, the repeated talk of an all-out nuclear attack on India may legitimately enhance India’s threat perception and preparedness for a retaliatory action. Who will tell the Pakistani Generals, politicians and commentators that nukes are not the weapons of war, they’re just deterrents? They can neither ensure victory nor defeat, just complete devastation. Are both the nations prepared for it?
But why does Pakistan want to keep its nuclear threshold level so low? Is it an outright bluff? Or is it blackmail to keep India on the tenterhook? Could it be a real threat which may force India to revisit its own nuclear doctrine of no first use? Despite provocations, India has shown restraint. It has kept the nuclear option out of its diplomatic and military response. The world community recognises it while being aware of the possible global threat that the insecurity fuelled nuclear capability of Islamabad may pose.
The problem with Pakistan
Russia’s assessment is that Islamists are not only seeking power in Pakistan but are also trying to get their hands on nuclear materials. US intelligence agencies keep a constant vigil on Pakistan’s strategic arsenals. But the tactical warheads will be located in forward bases which the jihadi terrorist groups may be tempted to possess and use. If that happens, it will be catastrophic for the entire region and the world too. The US also feels equally concerned about the rising radicalization and jihadi fundamentalism in Pakistan. Hillary Clinton said, that the real danger emanates from the possible threat of a jihadi coup in Pakistan which will have access to the nuclear weapons. Hillary said, that Pakistan is running fast to develop tactical nukes in their continuing hostility with India.
Hillary Clinton said, that the real danger emanates from the possible threat of a jihadi coup in Pakistan which will have access to the nuclear weapons. Hillary said, that Pakistan is running fast to develop tactical nukes in their continuing hostility with India.
Former Pakistani ambassador and author Husain Haqqani believes, that Pakistan’s pathological obsession with India is at the heart of all the problems between the two nations. Kashmir, jihad, terrorism and nuclear intimidation comprise a dangerous pressure tactic which Pakistan has adopted against India. It may give the Pakistani military establishment a justification for their remaining in power. At the same time, it gives the Islamists reason to achieve their ultimate goal of ‘Ghazwa-e-Hind’. But they are dangerous for the peace and stability of the region.
Why the world stands with India
The Indian response to the Pakistani state and non-state actors is not a mere reflection of anger. It also shows India’s strength as a growing economic power, its technological prowess and its international recognition as an emerging global power.
India, which is close to being a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) knows that with great power comes great responsibility. The earlier Pakistan realises its mistakes and restraints its nuclear rattling, the better.
(Views are personal)
Mihir Bholey is a Senior Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies at National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
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