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Archive for July, 1999

Let the truth come out

For over 50 years the rulers of India have operated on the theory that if you repeat a lie often enough, it will eventually be believed to be the truth. This goes back 5000 years in line with Kautaliya’s Arthasasthra. Kargil has been a high point of sorts in the colouring of facts, focussing on public perception as a finessed art the Indians have turned a crippling battlefield defeat into a resounding victory. The illusion created by India has been picked up as reality by the western media and the Indians themselves have been carried away by their own lies e.g. Lt Gen (Retd) Satish Nambiar appearing in a repeated TV AD talking about Indian forces now having the capacity of imposing hegemony in the region. The reality is that 1,000 to 1,200 men held up the better part of six Indian infantry divisions for over 45 days despite being pounded by over 500 artillery pieces and on the receiving end of more than 15-20 aircraft sorties on a daily basis. And then a majority lived to walk away from the battleground having inflicted casualties many times their own strength! However day in and day out, the Indian TVs, Doordarshan, ZeeTV, Star TV, TV Asia, etc churn out blatantly false propaganda, one has become sick listening to such a litany of lies.

As the dust settles over Kargil, some truths are emerging in Pakistan which were not discernible earlier due to “the fog of war”. These need to be addressed so that lessons can be learnt from an event where despite the fact that our finest did us proud militarily, we ended up being humiliated diplomatically and on the receiving end of the cutting edge of information. Without going into who was over the Line of Control (LOC) and who was not, what constitutes no-man’s land and aggressive patrolling thereof, the question arises as to who were “on board”, to quote the COAS Gen Pervez Musharraf, and from when?

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Guess who was disinvited from dinner?

For over 50 years we have been living a lie about an open secret. And this dual-faced policy has eroded our credibility to the point of extinction. On the one hand we very rightly say we fully support the just and indigenous struggle of the Kashmiris for freedom, on the other hand we mar its credibility by insisting that it is only moral support and no material help is involved. Since we are atrocious at duplicity and India is a past master at it, our holier-than-thou enemy has taken full advantage of the situation to focus this falsehood on full display to defame us in the eyes of the world. We definitely have a point about the world being callous about ignoring Indian atrocities in the part of Kashmir under occupation, an insipid media strategy formulated over the years in an amateurish fashion has contributed to our isolation in this regard, the low point being reached with the Kargil disaster.

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United we stand

Nobody can deny that in sum Kargil has been a major setback of disastrous proportions. The tragedy is that not only we were in the right but what was won on the snowy heights with the blood of our youth has again been lost on the slippery slopes of the negotiating table. For the sake of national unity and the morale of the Armed Forces this is no time to indulge in finger-pointing and recriminations but to close ranks lest divided we fall.

Let us first count the losses viz (1) we have never been so politically and diplomatically isolated in the full 52 years of our existence, even when counting 1971 (2) in accepting the “Mujahideen were across the Line of Control (LOC)” when in fact they were in no-man’s land, we were stupid enough to tacitly accept “intrusion” (3) by insisting that we were not aiding the Mujahideen when every child knows that we do (as we must) we shot our credibility into oblivion (4) we exposed our “China Card” needlessly and lost psychologically on that count when they remained mostly neutral (5) militarily we have unnecessarily jeopardised the morale of the Armed Forces when in fact they performed “above and beyond the call of duty” and (6) we have lost the media battle across the globe in a manner that could be devastating in the future.

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