The Pakistani deep state continues its outdated strategy of bleeding India by a thousand cuts. After the despicable death sentencing of Kulbhusan Jadhav and the inhuman denial of consular access to him (assuming he is alive), the Pakistan deep state has now barbarically beheaded and mutilated two Indian jawans. On the assumption that the generals in Rawalpindi are not insane, the question which arises is why is the Pakistani deep state so stuck to a strategy which it knows will fail to deliver Kashmir or lead to the break-up of India?
The psyche underpinning the Pakistani deep state
The flawed strategy can be understood by stating what is instrumental in determining Pakistani national consciousness vis-à-vis India. There were two fundamental elements present when India was partitioned:
1. In order to justify the two-nation theory, Pakistan had to forever be in opposition to secular India. And for this to occur, Pakistan had to become theocratic, communal and chauvinistic. For without this, what validity would there be to Jinnah's argument that the Hindus and Muslims of South Asia belonged to two different civilizations?
2. That Kashmir with a Muslim majority rightfully belonged to Pakistan. And as such, without Kashmir being given on a platter to Pakistan, there could be no workable peace with India.
And, after the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, a third element entered the Pakistani psyche:
For these reasons, it can be argued that the Pakistani position is that by hook or crook the Indian march towards development and influence must be derailed. And hence, all is fair in their proxy war — including terrorist attacks on the scale of Mumbai on civilians and regular killing of military personnel. However, these elements even if taken together will not embolden Pakistan to continually act as it does against India.
The Pakistani position is that by hook or crook the Indian march towards development and influence must be derailed.
Rogue Pakistan is a client state of the empire
There also exists an overriding factor that illuminates the logic behind Pakistan's strategic thinking. And, the key to understanding that factor lies in deciphering exactly why Pakistan was created. Contrary to the usual logic that India was partitioned because of Gandhi and Nehru's misjudgments in their dealings with Jinnah or because of the Muslim League or Jinnah's personal ambition and determination, the reality is that Pakistan was mainly created to serve the interests of the empire — the British in 1947, Pax Americana perpetually, and the resurgent Chinese now. This explains why despite the appalling record of nuclear proliferation, the rogue terrorist state of Pakistan has continued to receive billions of dollars in military and civilian aid from the United States. Imagine if India had had Pakistan's proliferation record. All hell would have broken loose! This also explains why the Kashmir Valley must perpetually be kept on the brink — India must be strategically tied down so that an imperium wannabe China emerges ascendant over India at the geopolitical high-table.
The reality is that Pakistan was mainly created to serve the interests of the empire — the British in 1947, Pax Americana perpetually, and the resurgent Chinese now.
So, the Pakistani deep state knows that with the backing of the empire, and as long as matters are not escalated to a level where the Indian government is compelled to undertake a limited desperate war, its flawed strategy will place enduring economic and psychological costs on India and divert resources from her development. This has the effect of making the benefactors who provide funding to Pakistan stronger and prompting even more aid to flow to the deep state in Pakistan. It's a winning formula, especially when other countries' money flows endlessly to keep the generals (who should be dragged to a War Crimes Tribunal for ordering the barbarity on the two jawans) in control in Pakistan. Would it then not be stupidity on their behalf if they did not invoke the two-nation theory or Kashmiri self-determination or revenge?
The need for a multi-pronged strategy which raises the costs for Pakistan's benefactors
Given that Pakistan is furthering the interests of her benefactors, what should be the Indian government's strategy?
It is clear that bilateralism has not yielded anything. Dialogue for the sake of dialogue has yielded limited results. And, multilateral dialogue will not solve the India-Pakistan problem because there can be no honest broker given the strategic stakes involved. Ultimately, in a multilateral dialogue process, power politics and not ethics will determine the outcome.
And, to those calling for a befitting military response to Pakistan, they need to be reminded that there is no military solution to the problem. The BJP government gained plenty of mileage from last year's surgical strike but that did not prevent the latest loss of life of two Indian jawans. Limited surgical strikes is simply a Band-Aid solution.
For India, the best option is to increase the costs for those who fund and support the Pakistani deep state. And, the way to do that would be to integrate the Indian economy further with those economies, with balance in trade as a principle. After all, Pakistan's all-weather friend China understands the language of money more than anything else. It must be made clear to China that it is in their long-term interests to integrate much more deeply with India than Pakistan.
To those calling for a befitting military response to Pakistan, they need to be reminded that there is no military solution to the problem. Limited surgical strikes is simply a Band-Aid solution.
After all, India is a 1.3 billion-strong market with a demographic dividend. By hoping to contain India's rise through Pakistan, China is endangering her own prosperity. The lessons of history must be heeded — for 18 out of the last 20 centuries, India and China dominated the world economy and for the sake of future prosperity and stability these two economies need to have 'a closer than lips are to the teeth' economic relationship. There can only be winners from a strong India and China relationship. It will even make Pakistan stronger and secure. Only then should there be dialogue about matters such as Kashmir.