By Aishik Purkait:
On September 18, the Indian Army’s base in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir, was attacked by militants, resulting in the death of 17 soldiers of the infantry battalion in the rear office of the army’s base in Baramulla district. The attack was carried out in the early hours of Sunday, hence taking the army by surprise. The counter operations resulted in the death of all four terrorists involved in the attacks.
As per top military and government sources, it is considered to be orchestrated by Pakistan.
The attack has only added fuel to the fire and has enraged Indians. Since the attacks, hyper-enraged anchors on television have already waged war on Pakistan. Social media has been abuzz with people taking out their wrath on Pakistan and calling on the Indian Army to engage in a military conflict. But at this point, will waging a war on Pakistan be helpful to India and its interests? Or should India isolate Pakistan on the world stage so that Pakistan learns its lessons and heeds to India’s demands?
India should first isolate Pakistan on the economic front. The trade estimate between the countries was $2.4 billion in 2013. India, being one of the biggest economies in the South Asian region, holds a key economic position.
Pakistan’s economic progress does need India’s support if they want to pave way for South Asian regional economic cooperation. Pakistan is also in desperate need of larger markets for export and with India closing its doors to Pakistan, it will hit the latter’s potential industrial hubs in Baluchistan, Karachi, Multan, Lahore, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Peshawar and other areas.
India conferred the title of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) to Pakistan in 1996. This essentially means that restrictions on imports on Pakistan was removed and India had to impose the same tariff rates as it does to other countries. The ideal thing for India to do at this situation would be to remove this title. This would ensure that Pakistan is cornered in the South-Eastern region. This should be coupled with India restricting imports from Pakistan in the sectors of textile, jewellery, precious metals and base metals. This will hit their exports.
India should also consider Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s proposed resolution and bill to declare Pakistan a terrorist state. This must be passed in the Winter session.
“Earlier, Indian foreign policy towards Pakistan was characterised with strategic restraint. Now the situation has come where India has to act in terms of completely isolating Pakistan from associations like SAARC and consider revoking the treaty of water between India and Pakistan. However, the latter may negatively affect India’s credibility on international platforms because it is not a bilateral treaty, instead, it is an international treaty” said Dr. Chaitanya Pradeep, a professor of Political Science in Christ University, Bengaluru.
India should also push to get the bill, which was introduced by two US lawmakers in the United States to designate Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism, passed in the US parliament.
Moreover, India should also ask the G4 nations (Brazil, Germany, India and Japan) to stop all economic engagements with Pakistan and resort from engaging in any diplomatic talks be it Track 1 or Track 2.
India should also force a resolution declaring Pakistan a terrorist state in the Security Council. However, China will stop the resolution from being passed. The threat of China comes along with Pakistan.
PM Modi should also persuade the United States to discontinue the aid it gives to Pakistan. Stopping US aid will come as a huge blow to the already disturbed Nawaz Sharif government.
”At present, the absence of a central global body dedicated to terrorist prevention and response resulted in the UN inability to instantly initiate counter-terrorism. The landscape for counter-terrorism activity thus lacks coherence. It is multi-layered, ranging from legally binding instruments and strategic guidelines, to multilateral institutions and regional frameworks” said Dr Pradeep.
India can seek help from both American forces and NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan to increase their military activities and thus build pressure on Pakistan.
Moreover, India must engage in diplomatic talks with far-eastern nations to declare Pakistan a terrorist state and also cut off all economic and diplomatic ties with Pakistan. India should push for all major countries to call for sanctions on Pakistan.
However, calling for military engagement at this stage, might not be helpful for India.
After the Indo-Pak war in 1971, India had to face an economic crisis. A large part of our budget was allotted for defence purposes which resulted in slow growth in other key sectors. This was coupled with the war against China in 1962 which took a huge toll on the Indian exchequer. India had to suffer from drought and famine in a bid to fulfill the needs of the army.