(Part II of a two-part series)

Across the board, there is a demand to ‘separate’ terrorism from sports, academia, arts, cinema, culture etc. and Pakistani nationals must be permitted come to India to participate in these activities and make a living. Such Pakistanis coming India harbour honourable intentions, but their country does not, and they cannot shed that reality.

Pakistani education teaches their children to hate India and Indians; this is known with incontrovertible proof. Pakistani cricketers, artists, and writers cannot disassociate from this heinous cultural attack that Pakistan wages against India.

Just as we cannot separate ourselves fully from, say, entrenched sexism while fighting against it, we cannot separate a nation’s stated philosophy from its citizens. How many Pakistani artists, academics, businessmen and media persons decried Pakistan’s ban on Bollywood movies and Indian TV serials? None – they cannot protest and sadly, they must suffer that choice. In this context, our own cultural giants and separatists must accept that they should open their mouths only if what they utter is more beautiful and valuable than their silence.

The Pacifists who Insist on Dialogue

It is true that communication between belligerents should remain open to avoid dangerous misunderstandings. The channel between the Director Generals, Military Operations (DGMOs) of both countries is open and was used, even after we struck terrorist launch pads. Innumerable defence analysts, diplomats, bureaucrats, intelligence boffins and retired military officers, counsel the establishment. But when politicians and people with undistinguished standing in India demand dialogue with Pakistan, it is scandalous.

Besides, can we trust anyone over there? Post 1971, under the Simla Agreement, Indira Gandhi gave Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, in the presence of his daughter Benazir more than she should have. Both Zulfiqar and his daughter then reneged on every promise they had made in return. Have we forgotten that Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in dialogue with Nawaz Sharif when Musharraf started the Kargil war? Do our dialoguewalas still believe Pakistan to be capable of honest talks?

Politicians who cannot appreciate anything beyond their constituency, and who cowardly remain out of governance lest their hollowness becomes obvious have an opinion (which they express in flighty English) on dealing with Pakistani terrorists.

Many news anchors and their panels of guests scream demands of closer ties because many Pakistanis ‘love India’. Can these India lovers do anything to stop terrorists?

If allowing ignoble persons to mislead our citizens under ‘freedom of expression’ is not sedition, what is? I wonder who finances the dastardly acts of such individuals.

Many media interactions do reveal that ordinary Pakistanis actually love our culture, art, and literature, and therefore we must distinguish between the ‘lovers’ and ‘haters’. However, we cannot expect India’s sympathisers to speak against terror directed towards India because if they do, they will be killed.

Unfortunately, Pakistan’s sympathisers can be vocal. Take the case of Pakistani artists in India during the time of the Uri attack. Pakistan’s sympathisers argue that India must honour visas given to Pakistani artists irrespective of the security situation – a distorted logic. Would these artists have sought an Indian visa a day after the Uri incident, stating that their art and terrorism should not be linked?

In fact, post the Uri attack, Pakistanis should have applied common sense and left India quietly; there would have been no controversy. Yet, our own artists, driven by their ingrained stubbornness over ‘freedom of expression’, stood in their defence. What makes them do this? Is it money? Determined foolishness has no remedy.

The Philosophy of The Pakistani Army

Volumes of literature of Pakistani Armed Forces propound the theory that India is determined to destroy Pakistan, reverse the Partition, and rebuild a Greater India swallowing Pakistan and Bangladesh. They strongly believe that a Hindu India will wipe out Islam and its purity from the Indian subcontinent. This canard is entrenched across all levels of education, in military institutes and in think tanks, and thus, every Pakistani citizen is force-fed this story. It is difficult to dilute this brainwashing carried out since their childhood.

The propaganda further stresses that only the Pakistani Army can prevent this from happening and therefore, it has to be deeply involved in governing the country. Thus, whenever Pakistan loses a skirmish/battle/war against India (which is always the case), the Army spins it into a ‘great victory’ preventing ‘kafir’ Hindu India from destroying the pure, Muslim Pakistan. This not only solidifies domestic support, but also ensures support of rich Muslim nations in the holy jihad against India.

How can we then expect ordinary Pakistanis to condemn attacks such as those in Uri, Mumbai, Pathankot and Kargil? If Indian artists can condemn the actions of the Indian establishment, then their Pakistani counterparts be able to do the same in the case of the Pakistani establishment, and if they cannot, they are not welcome in India. It is as simple as that.

India is our country. Most Indians – certainly, defenders of human rights and various freedoms, dialogue promoters, anti-establishment stalwarts, NGO grandees and candlelight marchers – conveniently blank out when India and its soldiers take a hit. Their particular proclivity to support separatism in J&K is wrongly placed; history proves that all the actions we take in PoK are not a violation of another country’s territory or airspace, but defence of our own territory, and needs neither permission nor justification.

Does the Indian Army need to give proof of self-defence? It is their mandate to defend all of India by all possible means. When India captured Jessore in East Pakistan in 1971, no one asked Field Marshal Manekshaw for proof. No one asked the Army to prove they had 93,000 POWs. No one asked the Air Force to prove bombing of Peshawar, Sargodha, and Karachi. Neither the Navy had to prove its attack on Karachi, nor the Army had to prove the capture of Tololing. Why are we now asking the Armed Forces to prove they destroyed terror launch pads in PoK? This is cheap and shameful politics.

We Indians have never united to attack and destroy our tormentors. We pride India’s democratic values and the freedoms we enjoy, including that to dissent. This attitude makes us trust others, irrespective of their past conduct. We seek out the smallest iota of friendship in our sworn adversaries and blow it out of proportion. We close our eyes and ears to malevolent intents of adversaries such as Pakistan. Quite simply, we fail to understand that a scorpion’s poison is in its tail, a fly’s, in its head, and a serpent’s in its fangs, but an evil human being’s poison is in his whole body.

The ‘high moral ground’ which we so proudly flash has fetched no returns for 70 years. How many more Indians must die, and widows must we have, before we realise this and start protecting our freedom and existence zealously?

We will know that change has begun across the border the day Pakistani citizens can march to the Minar-E-Pakistan and protest against terrorists residing in their country. Till then, abundant caution, supreme preparedness and vigilance regarding actions and conduct of Pakistanis coming to India is necessary. It is also what is missing in India.

(Read Part I of the two-part series here)

Group Capt. Anant Bewoor VM (Gallantry)

Group Capt. Anant Bewoor has served with the Indian Air Force for 30 years. He was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal for Gallantry in 1990. Since retirement, he has worked with Onward Technologies Ltd. for 22 years in Pune, India.

The views and opinions expressed in the article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Tilak Chronicle and TTC Media Pvt Ltd.

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