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Thursday, May 30, 2024

The Rise and Fall of Terroristan

The character of a nation is determined by the circumstances that lead to its birth, its formative years, the ideals that drive and motivate its existence among the community of other nations. In this context and under the current situation, it becomes necessary to examine Pakistan.

A year before Independence, on 16th August 1946, the separatists led by MA Jinnah, and demanding Pakistan, marked Direct Action Day. Direct Action Day was to protest against a plan to which Muslim League had itself agreed earlier. The plan was for an Independent Bharat (consisting of current Bharat, Pakistan, Bangladesh) to have a common federal structure with some provinces under it as Muslim provinces. Direct Action Day on August 16, 1946 was a day when this plan began to get subverted by the Muslim League using Terror as an instrument to force the creation of Pakistan under a Two Nation Theory.

The birth of Pakistan was thus using Terror as an instrument. Jinnah had declared that he and the Muslim League will either accept “Division or the Destruction” of Bharat. Direct Action Day in then Calcutta (Kolkata) saw a frenzy of mass killings of an unprepared Hindu population. The local administration, under Chief Minister of Bengal HS Suhrawardy of Muslim League did not do anything. Thousands of Hindus were killed in an orgy of stabbing, firing and more before an organized Hindu resistance could be mounted. The police and administration swung into action to restore peace and order once it was clear that the retributions were in store for the Muslim terrorists of Direct Action Day. The birth of Pakistan owes its roots to the overt acts of violence, intimidation of normal peace-loving Hindu and other denizens of the sub-continent.

The partition happened, instigated by Muslim League and marked again by mass violence instigated without fail by terrorists inspired by Jinnah and the Muslim League ideology of Destroy or Divide. Many Bharatiyas now thought that peace will prevail. This unfortunately proved to be a delusion.

This is a historical lesson for those who trended #SayNoToWar when it was clear that Bharat was planning clinical retribution for the dastardly terrorist attack in Pulwama on 14 February, 2019. For the first time, since Direct Action Day and even possibly for centuries, Bharat had decided to extract penalties from the sponsors and beneficiaries of such terrorist attacks. So it is important to refresh the public memory about the rise of Terroristan aka Pakistan and how Bharat has, until now, pursued a policy of capitulation and helplessness.

Bharat established military victories in 1947-48, 1965, 1971, 1999 against Pakistan. In exchange for these victories, the political establishment of Bharat managed to snatch defeat for the country in the jaws of victory through a combination of ineptness and faulty understanding of the ideological underpinnings of Pakistan, especially its increasing reliance on Terror as an integral instrument of State policy.

In October 1947, Kashmir signed the unconditional Instrument of Accession for its merger with Bharat. Pakistani raiders (non-state actors according to Pakistan) were being chased away by the armed forces of Bharat. Before these raiders could be fully chased away, PM Jawahar Lal Nehru announced a unilateral ceasefire without consulting his cabinet colleagues. For the first time in History, a leader was announcing ceasefire while his own troops were chasing away invaders who were still on its soil. This was deliberate and diabolical – and a young trusting Nation was too naïve and innocent to question its leader. Did this create peace?

In September 1965, Pakistan launched ‘Operation Gibralter’. It was a disaster for Pakistan. Bharat recaptured the strategic Haji Pir pass, Bharatiya troops reached the outskirts of Lahore when someone from the Ministry of Defense wrongly told the policy makers that there is not enough ammunition. These soldiers were told to retreat! Pakistan pressed for peace and cease-fire. A few months later, the Tashkent Declaration was revealed to the public even as Bharat’s PM,  Lal Bahadur Shastri died on that same night under mysterious circumstances. Was this an act of treachery by a country that could not be trusted? Time will tell, for Indira Gandhi soon became the PM of Bharat thereafter. The Tashkent Agreement gave pack the portions of PoK including the Haji Pir Pass that till today allows terrorists to come across the LoC. Did this create peace?

Later, Pakistan had General Elections on 7 December, 1971. There were two main parties in the fray. Awami League and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) headed by Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto respectively. The Awami League won 160 seats out of 300 and Sheikh Mujibur Rehman should have become PM of Pakistan. Bhutto and PPP, which had only won in the regions of Sindh & Punjab, opposed this. East Pakistan, from were Mujibur Rehman got all his seats, became restive. General Yahya Khan, Army Chief and Pakistan President, launched military operations and a ruthless genocide in East Pakistan from March 1971. About 10m East Pakistanis fled to Bharat and upto 3m Bengalis, mostly Hindus, were systematically wiped out by the Pakistani Army.

In December 1971, Bharat in response to Pakistani air attacks, over ran East Pakistan and Bangladesh was born. Over 93,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendered. Bharat had also overrun significant territory in West Pakistan where about 1 million Pakistanis were displaced from their homes and agriculture lands. By July 3, 1972, Bharat under Indira Gandhi, had squandered away all the military gains to sign a Shimla Agreement in the hope of peace. Shockingly, while all 93,000 Pakistani PoWs were returned by Bharat, 54 Bharatiya PoWs were never returned by Pakistan. Did Bharat get peace?

After the 1971 war, Indira Gandhi extracted a lot of political capital from the military victory and received no flak for a diplomatic failure. On the other hand, the Bharatiya armed forces got the short end in a series of systematic moves that reduced their benefits, status vis-à-vis the administrative machinery and increased regulation of defense equipment purchases that led to unprecedented corruption, delays and sloth.

Meanwhile, Bhutto in Pakistan articulated a strategy of a thousand-year war shortly after landing back from Shimla having signed the Shimla Accord with Indira Gandhi in July 1972. This 1000 year war morphed into a more explicit Jihadi Terror doctrine under Gen. Zia Ul Haq.

So successful was the Jihadi Terror doctrine that in 1989-90, the Jihad messages blared out of every mosque in Kashmir Valley in Bharat a chilling message to Kashmiri Hindus in the valley area to leave, convert or die. It was not an empty threat: many Kashmiri Hindus were found murdered by terrorists with clear signs of brutal and inhuman torture. Not one single human rights activist or the secular-liberal freedom of expression loving “intellectual” in “India” spoke about it. On the contrary, it was passed off as a problem made by the Kashmiri Hindus as this report by Barkha Dutt clearly says.

Half a million Kashmiri Hindus have been living in makeshift camps, in destitute conditions as refugees in their own country, denied justice for decades by a State under the hypnotic seduction of an ‘Azaadi’ to merge with a Terroristan where all human rights are forsaken! There was literally no cost to Terroristan, even as their agents milked benefits in J&K from Bharatiya tax-payer money.

This success encouraged more adventurism. In 1999, Pakistani army, disguised as raiders, occupied Kargil, Tololing and other strategic heights belonging to Bharat before the snows melted. This resulted in the 1999 Kargil war where Bharat again decisively defeated and ejected Pakistani troops. Ironically, Pakistan did not even acknowledge them to be its troops for a very long time. Kargil War happened even as Bharat, under AB Vajpayee, was negotiating the Lahore Peace declaration, with Pakistan PM, Nawaz Sharief. After Kargil, Nawaz Sharief was overthrown by the Pak Army Kargil architect, Gen. Musharraf. This was followed by the Agra Peace Talks where General Musharaf was declared as a winner of optics, perception etc. by Bharat’s media! Another military victory was squandered. Another Pakistani who had lost a war was resuscitated by the ineptness of Bharat’s diplomatic establishment and its need to be seen as the Peace Doves and Good Guys. Did this get peace for Bharat?

No. For after this, the number of terrorist attacks escalated and on November 26th, 2008 the Mumbai Terror attacks took place. This time, the INC led UPA’s response was shocking. It began to pin the blame of these terrorist attacks, on ‘Hindu Terror’. Digvijay Singh, one of the senior most leaders of the Congress, launched a book titled “26/11 : Bharat Ki Saajish” written by Aziz Burney, not once but twice in New Delhi and Mumbai. Disgustingly, Mahesh Bhatt attended the launch. His son was the host of David Headley who was caught by the US FBI and had confessed to helping in the recce of the 26/11 attack. David Headley even admitted to procuring the sacred red thread from a shop near the Siddhi Vinayak temple which was used by the 26/11 attackers to look like ‘Hindu Terrorists’!

From negotiating away military victories, by 2010, it was clear that the then political leadership was engaged not only in gross corruption but was actively fabricating ‘Hindu Terror’. In August 2009 (a few months after the 26/11 terror attack), Rahul Gandhi (now INC President) told US Ambassador Timothy Roemer that ‘Hindu Terror’ was the bigger threat! And a little earlier in June 2009, PM Dr. Man Mohan Singh, had signed the Sharm El Sheikh declaration with Pakistan. A mere few months after 26/11, Pakistan was now officially a as much a victim of terror as Bharat!

Building on this historic blunder by the Congerss and the UPA, by May 2014, Pakistan was in a position where not only was it successfully implementing the Zia-Ul-Haq doctrine of Jihadi terror attacks on Bharat, but now the ‘Hindu Terrorists’ had got the blame for these attacks, many court cases and arrests were made and a lot of this was being pointed out as evidence of growing ‘Hindu Terror’.

So, 26/11 had not only successfully inflicted damage of terror on the Financial Capital of Bharat, Pakistan was now going about in international circles organizing a ‘terrorism has no religion’ theme and at the same time pointing at ‘Hindu Terror’. The “elite”, “intellectual”, “liberal”, “educated”, “Lutyens”, “Durbari”, “Secular”, “Aman Ki Asha”, “Literary Festival”, “Jholawala” types were jubilantly celebrating even as music festivals with Pakistani artistes and ubiquitous Sufi music festivals sprung up. “India” had become one of the leading Beef exporters, the Congress had informed the court that there was NO historical evidence of Ram and many more queer things were happening in the sacred land of Bharat.

Campuses echoed the calls of secessionists and even celebrated the murders of CRPF men killed in Dantewada with impunity. It seemed that even the young and idealistic of Bharat had been hijacked to become Urban Naxals by Terroristan. Anarchy was being cultivated and growing step by step, campus after campus. The concept of Bharat as a nation, its proud legacy, nobility, sciences, art, music were not only fading from the public space, but increasingly was looked at in scorn in much the same way Terroristan looked at it.

So, from 1947 to 2014, despite winning militarily, being a victim of waves of terror and violence, secessionism, minority-instigated riots, it was Bharat that suffered from an acute inability to defend its national interests at the negotiating table. “India” and the “Idea of India” rewarded Pakistan for its Jihadi terrorism and had manufactured a contrived ‘Hindu Terror’ or ‘Hindu Extremism’ story.

The rise of Terroristan was complete and ‘the Idea of India’ controlled by an elite, Durbari/Lutyens brigade had declared that the first right to National Resources of Bharat was with its minorities. It seemed that India had capitulated while Bharat cried silently, unable to voice its deep abhorrence, or kept blissfully unaware of a lengthening, dark shadow being cast over it.

Pakistan or rather Terroristan, equipped with the strategy of Jihadi Terror, was on the cusp of its greatest victory despite having never ever won militarily. Terroristan was about to become one of the greatest success stories in the modern era, replicating the acts of a Mohammed Bin Qasim or a Mohammed Ghori. The ascent of Terroristan was assured as long as our nation placed its trust on an “Idea of India” elite.

The “Idea of India” is based on a terribly poor interpretation of Ahimsa by Gandhi and a hotch-potch ad-mix of high sounding words like pluralism, secularism, inclusiveness which were all formulated with the cynical objective of tying the hands of Bharat, gagging any speech that questioned the take-over of Bharat by the creeping support for Terroristan.

This is why even grave provocations like the Kashmiri Hindu exodus of 1989-90, blatant attacks on our democratic institutions including the Parliament, the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks were all met with insipid responses, or brilliant military victories were downplayed and advantages squandered in banal, unenforceable Agreements or Summits/Peace Talks. The world had begun to believe that Bharat was a state unable to protect its own existence. Many in Bharat were alarmed by 2014 to see the Nation slip into a comatose state, unable to respond, unable to arm itself and demoralizing its armed forces, security personnel through the concerted actions of dubious Human Rights groups and Urban Naxal-Lutyens media cells.

The new doctrine of striking back at Terroristan and eliminating Terrorism from its roots with an aggressive policy of extracting disproportionate costs, is a welcome change led by PM Narendra Modi. For the first time, a strike by a JeM suicide bomber in Pulwama was met with the bombardment of the JeM ‘campus’ in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. While the number of casualties may be debated, it is clear that Pakistan has been hit where it hurts them.

Since the first retributions on Terroristan took place, Pakistan has suspended commercial air flights, its stock market has tanked, inflation has hit a four year high at 8.2%, its currency has devalued by over 8% since February 14th, and its cities have, in an era of GPS and satellite guided navigation, been plunged into darkness every night.

Terroristan is finding itself at the receiving end of a just reprisal. The End of Terroristan may well be exactly how the Direct Day Action, an act of terror that gave birth to Pakistan, was ended.

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Prashant Singh
Prashant Singh
Prashant Singh is a private citizen and an independent observer of current business, social and global developments. Twitter ID: ps_009


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