The top Indian leadership seems to have suffered a seriously disorienting panic attack as is evident from its ridiculous daily escalating inflammatory statements, or it may be that it is now showing its true BJP colours: saffron, frothing at the mouth and virulently anti-Pakistan. The signing of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in particular, the success of Pakistan’s anti-terrorism Zarb-e-Azb operation, the Local Bodies elections in Gilgit-Baltistan, the slowdown in the Baloch insurgency, the thaw in relations with Afghanistan and especially the accord between the ISI and the Afghan National Security Directorate, have been too much of a shock for Narendra Modi and company to stomach. And, no doubt, due to a combination of all these complaints, they have unleashed a vicious psychological war to threaten and intimidate us. The Indian prime minister, the defence minister, the external affairs minister, the national security advisor, and last but not least a junior minister (who compared Pakistan to Myanmar and threatened surgical strikes against it at a time and place of the Indians’ choosing!) have all participated in the venomous Pakistan-bashing. The Indian army chief, perhaps more keenly aware of the ground realities, has however maintained a studied silence so far.

Official rejoinders have belatedly been issued by the civilian setup (remember there is no Pakistani foreign minister), and some politicians, but there has no joint session of parliament and unanimous condemnation of the Indians. Perhaps the personal economic interests of some stand in the way. The most meaningful statements have come from the army chief who left no doubt or ambiguity about Pakistan’s capability and resolve to effectively thwart any threatening moves by the fevered neighbour.

Earlier, the army chief’s vigorous verbal riposte on Kashmir being an inseparable part of Pakistan and the unfinished agenda of partition was inevitable as well as timely since the top Indian leadership had started firing multi-barrelled salvoes at Pakistan, not only physically on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, but also calculated volleys on the geo-political front, their intolerable reaction to the recently signed CPEC. The statements were as menacing as those emanating from New Delhi after their atomic tests in 1998 and before Pakistan had completed the predictable and formal tit-for-tat at its end. The senior BJP leader LK Advani was then in the forefront of those gloating over India’s newfound atomic status and taunting Pakistan to vacate Azad Kashmir and mend its ways in future or else, as if to call its bluff.

But Pakistan was effectively able to counter every hostile Indian move, as in the long-drawn eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation of 2001-2002, when the over-confident enemy had massed its entire army, including elements from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, on the borders. The country’s nuclear arsenal and the Pakistani leadership’s resolute will to resist acted as deterrence in ending the stand-off. But it was a close run thing, and one skirmish in the border wastelands of Sindh could have triggered a rapid escalation leading to the use of the ‘unmentionable’ weapon and the end of the story for both antagonists. The next war, since nobody could be the winner in a catastrophic atomic conflagration, would be fought with stones, as Albert Einstein once confidently predicted.

The ruling BJP represents and comprises the extreme lunatic fringe element in Indian politics, the wild fascist one. Its unalloyed hatred for Muslims in general and Pakistan in particular is fixed and fanatical, despite its occasional hollow acts of extending the hand of friendship, as in the invitation to our almost impatient prime minister to attend his inauguration ceremony

The ruling BJP represents and comprises the extreme lunatic fringe element in Indian politics, the wild fascist one. Its unalloyed hatred for Muslims in general and Pakistan in particular is fixed and fanatical, despite its occasional hollow acts of extending the hand of friendship, as in the invitation to our almost impatient prime minister to attend his inauguration ceremony. The destruction of Pakistan, this unbearable vivisection of Mother India and a nuisance in its self-professed global march, is and will always remain the primary motivation of the BJP mindset. It is too deeply rooted in its gut and psyche.

Narendra Modi outdid all his lackeys in his implacable hatred of Pakistan on his recent visit to Bangladesh. With a slavishly smiling Sheikh Hasina by his side, Modi must have felt he was among kindred spirits. He was at ease and put on a big show. As a deliberate provocation, he was presented with an elaborately engraved photograph showing the surrender of the Pakistan army commander to the Indian army in 1971. Hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn and disdain, indeed!

Whatever the ultimate fate of the gigantic CPEC, it has well and truly highlighted the immense strategic value of the little known and long ignored scenic Gilgit-Baltistan region, made a separate province by the previous civilian government. In their overall military scheme of things, the Indian top brass must be eying a quick seizure of the northern areas in case of a new ‘limited’ confrontation to cut Pakistan off from China once for all and then occupy it permanently by claiming it as an integral part of Kashmir. The Indian national security adviser recently even talked of ‘India’s 106 km long border with Afghanistan’, meaning the present GB border! They really have lost their marbles.

If ever a region needs to be kept safe from the internal storms battering the rest of the country, especially the sectarian tempest, it is this extremely vulnerable corner where the borders of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan meet and where the ‘Great Game’ was once played out by imperialist Britain and Tsarist Russia. The Pakistan military must make this frontier region militarily impregnable.

The time of pandering to every Indian whim and fancy by our weak trader-rulers must end. Let the Indians rave and rage to the high heaven itself over Gilgit-Baltistan and the CPEC, let them protest and rail all they can to their new found strategic ally, the USA. Pakistan must ruthlessly and single-mindedly follow its own national interests.

The military must be deeply imbued with an even greater spirit of honour and sacrifice, a willingness to fight against all odds to the bitter end or to lay down one’s life without question. For, ‘the shame of a humiliating capitulation can never be effaced… this drop of poison in the blood of a nation is past on, and undermines the strongest of the future generations’. The unprofessional practice of withdrawing senior officers’ sons and relations from the front at a time of border tension for undertaking various courses or for sporting reasons and the award of high military honours to those who have never heard a shot fired in anger must be ruthlessly eradicated. The time should come when influential officers themselves volunteer for the most dangerous assignments.

In the Napoleonic Wars, it is recorded that the “captain of a French artillery battery at the beginning of a battle with his left fist grasps an artilleryman by the chest and with the tip of his sword pointing at a spot on the ground says, ‘You die here!’ looking at him all the while, then to the next, ‘You here!’ and to a third and fourth and all the rest, ‘Here, here and here’! And to the last ‘Here’! It is remarked that ‘this command to the soldiers to die without any argument had an extraordinary effect’, but of course one must also consider Napoleon’s military genius and the fact that ‘France, newborn through revolution, possessed a real inner strength, a superiority of spirit and will…’ Still, this is an experiment to be imitated when the situation is desperate.

The Israelis have based their nuclear doctrine on the ‘Samson Option’, that is, we may be destroyed, but we will take the world with us, a throwback to the blinded Biblical Jewish hero who in his last act after regaining his strength, killed thousands of Philistines by bringing down their Temple. So too, Pakistan should evolve the Tariq ibn Ziyad ‘burning of the boats’ mindset of ‘either be victorious or martyred. There is no third choice. All means of escape have been destroyed’. The Berber general had defeated the Visigoth King Roderic in the Iberian Peninsula with a small force of 17,000 against a reported army of 100,000 in 711 A.D.

The intelligence network must be continuously expanded and upgraded and taught the tactics of the classic famous (or infamous) Tsarist Ochrana, the Soviet Cheka (what a fanatical idealist its founder Felix Dzerzhinsky was), the NKVD and KGB and the Gestapo. One of the decisive reasons behind the Supreme Khan Chingiz’s inevitable success in battle was his superior intelligence service. A common refrain in the Mongol camp was, ‘Are not the Khan’s eyes and ears everywhere?’ and for his ‘chiefest general’ Subedei Baatur (or Bahadur), the ‘eyes and ears’ left behind in southern Russia were more valuable than the treasures won in battle on the expedition.

The US-India cozying up to counter China and to establish Indian hegemony in the region presents a major worry and a difficult balancing act for Pakistan. The enemies of Pakistan leave no stone unturned to keep their hate propaganda at a high pitch

The US-India cozying up to counter China and to establish Indian hegemony in the region presents a major worry and a difficult balancing act for Pakistan. The enemies of Pakistan leave no stone unturned to keep their hate propaganda at a high pitch. Recently, there were two cases involving probably fake African-based NGO’s on the United Nation’s roster, which were engaged in wanton political attacks about the situation in Balochistan and whom our diplomats wanted removed from the panel (one NGO was reportedly not even registered in its native African country). In both cases, the USA, India and Israel voted against the deletion, with India in particular quite vehement for their retention. The vote in the 19 member UN Committee on NGOs was 13-5 and 12-5 in both the cases in favour of removal. Both China and Iran supported Pakistan with their votes. However, these are the kinds of diverse dangers that the country faces today, and it cannot afford to relax its vigilance or lower its guard at any time on any front.

But how do matters stand on our political front? In this dire hour when national unity is of the essence, what do we find? Former President Ayub Khan once said that the opposition parties of his time were like ‘nine cats tied by their tails’. Unfortunately this aphorism still holds true with the addition that they are mostly at each others’ throats. Their favourite pastimes are the joys of protocol and VIP culture, trading barbs, opportunism, moneymaking, corruption, wheel jam strikes, and calling for each others’ resignation, rather than resolving political disputes peacefully and concentrating on nation-building. But, ‘their purpose is ambition, their practice only hate’. Armed with gigantic and vindictive egos but entirely devoid of vision and moral restraint, the majority of our politicians are not exactly Napoleons of the mind or models of intellect and will. The Imran Khan led PTI is the cat among the pigeons for them due to its meteoric rise as also the abrasive statements routinely emanating from the Khan. At a press conference, the ANP leader Wali Khan childishly vowed to ‘take revenge’ because the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa police had arrested a senior ANP leader after a fatal shooting incident.

The ‘united brothers’ and their extended ‘first family’ (of which the federal information minister seems to be an honorary or ex-officio member) have nothing better to do than to heap scorn on the hated PTI as does the thoroughly discredited last-will-and -testament PPP co-chairman. In a classic display of arrogance springing from family ties, political power and untold wealth, the royal sumdi had called for a journalist, who had asked a perfectly logical question at his post budget press conference, to be thrown out of the room! The JUI-F chief goes calmly on his brazenly self-serving way, and in another bizarre touch, reportedly paced to and fro in the national assembly during the budget speech.

The MQM leader, though it is hard to imagine this considering his grossness, is like the man on the flying trapeze, somersaulting from one position to its diametric opposite in his political statements, or rather sermons from the pulpit. All of our miserable leaders are spreading divisions and hatred and these fighting felines must get their act together quickly or be ready to be cleaned up if the present critical domestic and international situation continues to deteriorate. Perhaps a national government for the next thirty years or till the CPEC projects are completed (with a minus 10 formula for each party!) might be the answer to our present political predicament. Unfortunately, the current crop of tycoon-politician types lack the most important aspect of leadership, idealism, they cannot move a foot without a commission, a bill and a receipt, and the profit motive. At this rate they will themselves deliver the country trussed up to the enemy, a defenceless victim of their incompetence, bottomless greed and infighting.

Napoleon once said that warlike ‘Prussia had been hatched out of a cannon ball’, and later some anti-Teutonic wit remarked that ‘the best way to treat a Prussian is to step on his toes until he apologises’! Perhaps that is also the correct way to confront the militarily aggressive and feverishly arming Indians with their laughable global aspirations amid their horrendous poverty. Pakistan may be a ‘nuisance’ for Narendra Modi but in the last analysis, it is a nuclear armed nuisance, and that little difference should also be factored in the Indians’ grandiose plans, schemes and intrigues.