Do Wolves Attack Sheep? – Comments From A Reader In Mumbai

Editor’s Note: Last week, we published our article titled “Do Wolves Attack Sheep?”  (see ). Below are comments from one of our readers in Mumbai about this article. The reader chooses to remain anonymous.

Comments From A Reader In Mumbai

The India Pakistan situation: and the question – why does India not retaliate strongly against Pakistan? The straightforward analysis of the above seems to be that India is a soft state as you have repeatedly pointed out. There could be any number of reasons besides the soft state argument: 

  • Its army is not ready – corruption and complacency has led it to be poorly and inadequately armed – its fighter squadrons are depleted; Kargil and Mumbai showed that it doesn’t even have the basic equipment;

  • It is scared of the Pakistani nuclear bomb, especially given that’s its in the hands of the radical army (led by ISI) with an inept and corrupt civilian government (Gilani);
  • The US is not allowing India to attack Pakistan for its strategic reasons;
  • India is scared of extending itself on the Pakistani front with a belligerent China waiting to annex Arunachal;
  • It is scared of offending and alienating the Islamic countries on whom it is dependent for oil and also a market for its labour.

However, the real answer is that India does not have an endgame in Pakistan. Let us assume for the moment that India has successfully attacked and defeated Pakistan. What next? India cannot afford to occupy Pakistan like the US did with Iraq. It doesn’t have the requisite military strength, nor the budget. It cannot also get the occupier country to pay for it – Pakistan is bankrupt with no oil!

If it defeats Pakistan and comes back – there is the real danger of Pakistan being completely taken over by the Taliban! Let’s look at the numbers – there are 2 million Taliban between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Pakistani army is 650,000 strong with another 500,000 reserve troops. Its shaky control over Pakistan comes from its better armaments and better organisation (as compared to the Taliban). If India does serious damage to the Pakistani army, it will overturn the shaky balance of power in favour of the Taliban. Then India has the unenviable prospect of having a Taliban led radical Pakistan as its neighbour!

So what is the answer? I do not believe that there is any answer in the short term. The Pakistani army will continue to facilitate the Taliban and the Jihadi radicals in engaging with India, believing that, in doing so, they are dissipating the energies of these forces in fighting a traditional enemy and also avoiding fighting these same guys themselves. Empirical evidence also suggests that India will not seriously retaliate (Kargil gave the ultimate evidence of this belief when Indian planes did not fly across the border even to bomb the enemy from behind on our own land! and instead took the option of reclaiming the peaks at disproportionate cost to Indian troops. The US will continue to finance and arm Pakistan in the hope that the Pakistani army will use these resources to fight the Taliban (the latest is the USD 7.5 billion assistance from Obama!). The Pakistani army and the politicians will continue to misappropriate these funds for themselves – the prevailing scenario is perfect for these corrupt politicians and army brass to keep their grip on the state and enriching themselves.

The losers will continue to be the common Pakistani people and the Indian people – who will continue to suffer from terrorism sponsored from across the border.  And let us not forget – these are the consequences of the US sponsoring of 2000 Madrassas during the Afghan war. As they say….. you can take the genie out of the bottle but nobody has figured a way of forcing it back!   

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