The spirited defence of Pakistan by China even as India attempted to shame it as a "mothership of terror" at the BRICS summit in Goa is a frustrating reality that should enrage us. For the umpteenth time, China has indirectly told us that as long as it's around, we have to live with the terror originating from Pakistan.
No Mumbai, Pathankot or Uri can change that. And no homegrown terrorists roaming the streets of Pakistan planning diabolical attacks against India, with the connivance of its intelligence agency and the army, can be brought to book.
In fact, India has learned to live with the lack of support from China over the years because it knows that what the latter is looking for is geopolitical leverage.
In fact, India has learned to live with the lack of support from China over the years because it knows that what the latter is looking for is geopolitical leverage. However, clubbing Pakistan and India together as victims of terror is clearly to trivialise the issue and to obscure any distinction between the good and the bad. It's also a nasty snub.
India has the right to be offended by the Chinese statement because it threatens its peace and stability. Both India and Pakistan are indeed victims of terror, but a terror that originates from a single source, called Pakistan. Equating India with Pakistan, that is consumed by the terror that the latter has specifically bred to destabilise the former, is vicious.
Therefore, China's post BRICS-statement in Beijing that the world should acknowledge Pakistan's "great sacrifices" is potentially detrimental to India's efforts to protect its land and people. Earlier, it had blocked India's efforts to get Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar listed as a global terrorist by the UN Security Council.
For the UN -- and also many countries such as the US and UK -- JeM is a terrorist organisation, but strangely, the man who heads it is still not a terrorist, thanks to China. Azhar's impunity is also a symbol of Pakistan's terror-duplicity because on paper, JeM is banned in the country, but its leader is free to launch his anti-India terror activities from its soil.
Probably India should drop good manners for a few hours and officially call China's bluff by making itself clear that Pakistan's self-claimed and China-endorsed vulnerability is a byproduct of its own terror-labs. On the one side, it had the US-Saudi funded factory of anti-Soviet jihadists that also attracted misguided Muslims from over the world to its backyard, including Osama Bin Laden; and on the other, terrorists such as Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar and their anti-India outfits such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)/Jamat ud Dawah (JuD) and JeM.
On both the Afghan and Indian fronts, Pakistan's ISI-bred terror organisations and nobody contends these facts. In fact, Pakistan should own the sole responsibility of even radicalising Muslim youths in Afghanistan to fight against the Soviets.
Both the LeT and JuD are internationally banned (by the UN and others) terrorist organisations, but Hafiz Saeed is carrying on with his anti-India terror campaign with the charitable proxy, the JuD. What's more absurd is that Saeed, who organises massive public rallies in Pakistan such as the recent "Kashmir Caravan" from Lahore to Islamabad, carries a bounty of US $ 10 million on his head. Pakistan also shelters the most heinous of all anti-India terrorists, Dawood Ibrahim.
On both the Afghan and Indian fronts, Pakistan's ISI-bred terror organisations and nobody contends these facts. In fact, Pakistan should own the sole responsibility of even radicalising Muslim youths in Afghanistan to fight against the Soviets. It was here that the project of Islamisation and arming of Muslims was piloted on an industrial scale. Even the IS terror could be traced to this AfPak pilot.
What China whitewashes in its narrow vested interests of geopolitics and potential economic gain and dresses up as a victim is a global terror factory that needs to be dismantled. It's a highly inflammable mix of Islamism, modern arms and the vested interest of Pakistan's military-industrial complex, which author Ayesha Siddiqa calls the "Milibus" because of its extensive business interests, that is benign China's eyes. This terror complex drains India and Afghanistan and has begun to threaten Bangladesh as well.
Journalist and author Steve Coll has summarised what Pakistan means to India in his On the Grant Trunk Road, when he said: "There is one obvious strategic obstacle to India's success: the potential failure of Pakistan, India's ungainly colonial era Islamic twin. an unruly sibling that has not grown up so well and bears considerable resentment about that fact."
It's indeed a bitter sibling that has failed, that has gone rogue and that's unwilling to change. And it wants the world to believe that it's a victim.
Why would it want to survive at the cost of even itself? This strange conundrum appears to have been coded into the DNA of Pakistan.
Even if the Pakistani state and the entire infrastructure of Islamist leaders that specialise in destabilising India change, the situation will not be different because as Congress MP Shashi Tharoor eloquently said unlike in India, where the State has a military, in Pakistan, the military has a State. It runs the country and is the only institution that's still surviving. Paranoia, hatred and instability are the objective conditions for its survival.
Why would it want to survive at the cost of even itself? This strange conundrum appears to have been coded into the DNA of Pakistan. Take a look at what Siddiqa says: "Milbus is military capital that perpetuates the military's political predatory style. The defining feature of such predatory capital is that it is concealed, not recorded as part of the defence budget, and entails unexplained and questionable transfer of resources from the public to the private sector, especially to individuals or groups of people connected with the armed forces.
The value of such capital drawn by the military depends on the extent of its penetration into the economy and its influence over the state and society."
She adds: "The military's economic predatoriness increases in totalitarian systems. Motivated by personal gain, the officer cadre of the armed forces seek political and economic relationships which will enable them to increase their economic returns. The armed forces encourage policies and policy- making environments that multiply their economic opportunities. And "the military's economic predatoriness, especially inside its national boundaries, is both a cause and effect of a feudal authoritarian, and non- democratic, political system."
This wouldn't change unless there is an implosion, a meltdown from within. Such a transformation can happen only by global isolation. Two American lawmakers (one a Republican and the other a Democrat) recently moved a bill in the House of Representatives to designate Pakistan as a sponsor of terror, but the State Department was not impressed. In its feeble, and often unstrategic ways, India has been trying its best to at least protect itself, but China undermines it.
This wouldn't change unless there is an implosion, a meltdown from within. Such a transformation can happen only by global isolation.
Amazing that a country that shelters international terrorists, allows running of institutions such as Darul Uloom Haqqania, which is otherwise called the University of Jihad, and openly tries to terrorise its neighbour, which is the largest democracy in the world, has defendants such as China. It was the same China, along with Pakistan, Russia and Iran, that defended Sri Lanka when it was accused of human rights violations by the UN. Unfortunately, India too has to live with this contradiction.