PIS: Pakistani Immunity Syndrome
by Himanshu Jain on 02 Jan 2009 4 Comments

Since 1947 we have fought three bloody wars with Pakistan, besides rebuffing the invasion of Kargil. Pakistan has post-1974 engaged in a cross-border proxy war, which has steadily escalated from a low-intensity war of attrition to a deadlier and more lethal denouement, the latest example of which was Mumbai 2008.

There have been regular attacks in several Indian States, from Jammu & Kashmir to Kerala. Pakistan began by openly promoting the Sikh separatists. But after the failure of that experiment – the Hindu-Sikh civilisational ties proved ultimately more enduring and the Indian nation no walkover – it turned to its co-religionists in India and within Pakistan to assault this country with unnerving frequency.

Over 71,000 Indians, including 9000 security personnel, have lost their lives to jihad since the 1980s. India has spent over Rs. 45000/- crores to fight terror.

As Pakistan was consistent in waging jihad against India, so India has been consistent in protesting against these attacks. New Delhi goes to the UN, USA and other countries, threatens war against Pakistan and/or strict action, cancels cricket tours… India’s stand remains unchanged over the decades!

Because of the regular attacks by Pakistan and routine countermeasures by India much of the present Indian generation has over the last quarter century developed a Pakistani Immunity Syndrome (PIS). A simple test will reveal the symptoms of PIS:

1] Six-seven security personnel die occasionally and 2-3 die daily in Kashmir fighting the proxy war with the western neighbour. This is so routine that it finds mention only on the 14th or 15th page of leading national dailies. Only the Kargil invasion wiped up nationalist feelings for a few months.

2] Repeated bomb blasts, including serial bombs, in various Indian cities, accompanied by the loss of hundreds of innocent lives has still not made fighting terror [or Pakistan] the top priority of the Indian voter. Thus, the ruling UPA is allowed to get away with repealing a law like POTA [because there is an unavoidable anti-Muslim tinge in the war on terror).

3] The Average Indian Citizen can remember a terrorist strike for two weeks at most. For big strikes like Mumbai 26 November or the Parliament attack of 13 December 2001, most Indians will remember it for two-three months. It will figure in parties, offices, and living rooms. Now it has become fashionable to go out and light candles, sign petition on the Internet, or send a Rs. 6/- SMS to a popular news channel demanding a strong response to terror. But the buck stops there – and PIS sets in...

4] PIS has made it impossible for Indians to make the fight against jihadi terror a top political priority; they have also failed to pressurize the judiciary and  human rights activists to be more sympathetic to the Indian nation rather than to rights of terrorists. A national daily recently reported that 60 Pakistani terrorists have been let off by the judiciary since 2004, on grounds of lack of evidence or bad police work! [Remember our innocent Sarvjit Singh on death row in a Pakistani jail?]

These shady human rights activists have a high social profile in India. Some have gone on to the extent of fabricating cases to fight Indian security agencies and put our best officers behind bars. Yet there has been no investigation into the puppet-masters behind these human rights activists, their finances, their motives.

Pakistan decided to go nuclear after defeat in the Bangladesh war. India never had the vision to foresee the danger posed by a nuclear Islamic Pakistan; it allowed Pakistan to make the nuclear bomb.

India should have recognized Pakistan’s Islamic goals and taken special measures to contain them. Pakistan should never have been allowed to go nuclear. From 1975 to 1986, when Pakistan was building nuclear weapons, India should have made surgical strikes of the sort we are talking about now. Today, such a military operation will be disastrous – we have more to lose than Pakistan.

New Delhi also allowed America and the Soviet Union to get involved in Pakistan and Afghanistan. It should have used that period to build strong influence in Afghanistan to counter Pakistan, or keep superpowers out of the region. But our shortsighted leaders allowed these areas to be raped by superpowers, and as a result, Pakistan and Afghanistan became hell in the name of Islam.

We grew up studying Panchsheel and non-alignment. We were taught awe of Nehru and his foreign policy. In reality, India failed to evolve a leadership role in South Asia, and thus we find ourselves surrounded by Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan with Islamic ideology and expansionist designs. We failed to discipline them and keep the area peaceful. Even today children are taught Panchsheel and NAM, and India is bled by small neighbours.

India recognised only China as enemy No. 1. New Delhi’s long-term planning of its missile and nuclear weapons programme was only vis-à-vis China. She never took Pakistan as a serious threat, and till today has not recognized the Islamic problem surrounding it and imploding within.

Over the years, the political class toned down its anti-Pakistan policy as it was perceived as hurting the sentiments of Indian Muslims. I have never understood why Indian Muslims are so sensitive to Pakistan- bashing by India? Many may disagree with my views, but as a child growing up in Ahmedabad, I often heard fire crackers go up in my Muslim neighborhood whenever Pakistan won a cricket match. There were instances of riots where people died when Pakistan and India played a cricket match.

After the nuclear tests, the hawkish-looking Vajpayee went out of the way to open Indian borders to people-to-people contact with Pakistan, to encourage Muslim voters to come to BJP-NDA. The Muslim vote somehow remains the most coveted vote for any political party! 

Indian Muslims never liked India’s nuclear tests and openly criticized them, though the majority of Indians were happy about them. As soon as borders with Pakistan were opened, Indian Muslims rushed to meet their long-lost relatives separated by the Partition. It is my understanding that they came back with more marriages across the border! Pakistan pushing terrorists into India, killing Indians, yet Indian Muslims consider it safe to marry their daughters and sons across the border and also do business with them.

Every section of the Indian Penal Code has been misused by the police and security personnel - for corruption or political reasons. Laws like attempt to murder, rape, Section 420, dowry, are misused daily in hundreds of police stations across the country, and many Indian have suffered because of such misuse.

Yet it is ONLY Acts like TADA and POTA that have been singled out for notice of possible misuse – because they might hurt Muslim sentiment! It is possible that like any other Indian law, these may have been misused in a few cases, but these laws have been DROPPED to get Muslim votes. Laws like these are required to book the new breed of terrorists, but the interest of Muslims supersedes national interest.

Indian Muslim youth are easily brainwashed by trigger-happy jihadi mullahs across the border. The post-Godhra flare-up in Gujarat is used to convert the youths into killing machines. Posters of Osama adorn the streets of Muslim neighbourhoods.  

Jihadis are respected - Muslims come out openly in support of Sorabuddin and Ishrat Jehan Shaikh. Now Jamia University is going to defend students who clashed with late Inspector M.C. Sharma. Politicians sense the way the wind blows and lend their support… Yet, even today, Hindus go out of the way to accommodate Muslims. That is why many Hindu activists are viewed with suspicion.

Pakistan has been consistent in its actions and intentions. India has been equally consistent in pushing issues under the carpet or looking the other way. India has no understanding or strategy to cope with Islamic expansionist designs. Successive Indian governments have failed to delink Indian Muslims with Pakistan and International Muslims, hence the current mess.

For a solution to emerge, India needs to get out of the Pakistan Immunity Syndrome. Human rights activists, judges, police, secularists, Indian Muslims, and self-conscious Hindus, all need to sit together for a brain-storming session, rather than score cheap points against each other in sterile debates, or for winning local elections. We need to look terror in the face and fashion an appropriate weapon.

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