The age of strategic restraint is over. The people of Bharat are fed up with Pakistan and its terrorism. So is the Bharatiya government, which has initiated a long overdue diplomatic blitzkrieg to expose and isolate Pakistan internationally, and, in a significant break from the past, authorized the armed forces to cross the hitherto sacrosanct “Line of Control” and make Bharat’s evil conjoined twin pay a steep price for its misdeeds.
There is palpable anger against Pakistan, along with a growing consensus that decades of restraint, multi-track and back channel diplomacy, cocktail circuits and cultural exchanges have failed to produce any tangible results. Consequently, the government’s robust new Pakistan policy has garnered widespread public support.
Despite this sentiment, some (many?) Bharatiyas are deeply conflicted about how to deal with Pakistanis on an individual, person-to-person level. Many Bharatiyas believe that the Pakistani military and the terrorist organizations it nurtures don’t represent the ordinary people of Pakistan. They believe that ordinary Pakistanis desire peace just as much as the people of Bharat.
Pakistanis are just like Bharatiyas, the argument goes. Most Pakistanis are good people. Descendants of Mother India. They speak the same language and sing the same songs. They love Bharatiya movies and TV shows. They’ll come around.
As a consequence some Bharatiyas feel that ordinary Pakistani citizens should not be made to pay a price for the actions of those who represent them. Pakistani artists should not be banned and “cultural exchanges” should continue.
Let us examine the hypothesis that “most Pakistanis are good people” pragmatically, by defining what a “good Pakistani” is from the perspective of Bharat’s national interest.
Defining the characteristics of a “good Pakistani” from the perspective of Bharat’s interest is trivial:
A “good Pakistani” is one who does not act in any way, directly or indirectly, that is inimical to Bharat’s national interest.
It’s easy to put this into practice. Pick a Pakistani. Any Pakistani. (S)he may be your favorite actor, singer, politician, cricketer, cricket commentator, or anyone else. Now ask the following questions:
Does (s)he agree that Kashmir is an integral part of Bharat?
Some Pakistanis (especially prominent personages who stand to gain from Bharat) are known to take an ambiguous stand on Kashmir. They must be assumed to default to Pakistan’s official line on Kashmir.
Support for Bharat’s position on Kashmir is non-negotiable.
Far too many Bharatiyas empathize with Pakistanis, and feel that they must be excused for supporting their country’s illegal occupation of a large part of Kashmir and its illegal claim over the remainder of the state.
Noble behavior and lofty, civilized ideals such as sympathy, empathy, compassion, and non-violence must be reserved for one’s country people and those who are civilized.
Sympathizing with those who seek to destroy one’s country and way of life is a one-way road to ruin. Bharat’s history of the past millennium abounds with cautionary tales like that of the noble, idealistic, valorous, and exceptionally foolhardy Prithviraj Chauhan.
Bharatiyas must learn the lessons of history. Channel your inner Chanakya when dealing with Pakistanis. Not your inner Prithviraj.
Does (s)he serve in the Pakistani military or the ISI, or support these organizations in any way?
This includes verbal and social support, which have the effect of raising morale.
The Pakistani military and the ISI have planned and executed terrorist attacks that have killed tens of thousands of Bharatiyas. They have committed horrific genocides in the past (can one forget Bangladesh?), and are engaged in the ongoing genocides of Kashmiris in POK and Baluchs in Baluchistan.
Their ultimate objective is to destroy Bharat, plain and simple.
For several years, a number of Bharatiya academics, “intellectuals”, and journalists participated in a seminar circuit on Kashmir organized by an Indian-origin US citizen called Ghulam Nabi Fai. Their participation gave Fai and his “Kashmiri American Council (KAC)” legitimacy and respectability.
The ISI is know to handle numerous Pakistani (and other) agents in all major countries. The former American diplomat and ambassador Robin Raphel is alleged to have been an ISI agent (the investigation was eventually closed without any charges being filed).
With this in mind, prudence dictates that all Pakistanis should be regarded as potential ISI agents.
Does (s)he support any terrorist organization in any way?
There are dozens of terrorist organizations in Pakistan, most of which target Bharat. A significant percentage of their funds come from public donations. Pick any Pakistani at random, and there is a reasonable possibility that (s)he either funds terror, or supports it in one way or another.
Does (s)he pay taxes in Pakistan?
Even if one takes the lenient, liberal view that some Pakistanis do not support anti-Bharat activities, one must remember that every Pakistani pays tax in one form or another.
I’m not talking about income tax – which less than 1% of Pakistanis bother to pay. I’m talking about the sales tax and local taxes Pakistanis pay every time they purchase petrol or groceries or cigarettes or opium – a veritable money machine.
Taxes sustain the Pakistani state machinery, which is controlled by the military, which in turn funds terrorism. Money remitted to Pakistan also supports terror in the same way.
Thus, every Pakistani contributes to terrorism, ethnic cleansing, and other state-sponsored atrocities, simply by existing.
This is the cold, hard truth. Think about it:
Every Chinese is complicit in the genocide in Tibet. Every German was complicit in the Jewish Holocaust. Every Japanese was complicit in the horrors the Japanese army perpetrated throughout Asia during World War 2.
Similarly, every Pakistani is complicit in terrorism. Every. Single. One.
When a nation engages in war, it does so on behalf of its citizens. Its citizens are therefore considered to be participants in the war – unless they explicitly rebel against the government. Although (many) armed forces target only the enemy’s military and its installations in modern warfare, the enemy nation’s civilians are nevertheless considered to be acceptable (though unfortunate) collateral damage. The wars of the past three decades provide ample evidence of this fact.
Similarly, when a nation employs terrorism as its state policy, its citizens should be treated as terrorists (unless they explicitly take action against the government). Effective measures (international isolation, economic sanctions, deportation of citizens, etc.) should be taken to prevent them from coming into contact with the civilized world.
Pakistanis should therefore be considered to be terrorists. All of them, without exception. Ordinary Bharatiyas should change their attitude and see them for what they really are. They should be shunned. Their visas should be revoked. Those that rebel – such as the people of Baluchistan – should be viewed as our allies, and helped.
To conclude, what’s the difference between a “good Pakistani” and a “bad Pakistani”? It’s the same as the difference between a “good terrorist” and a “bad terrorist”: There is none.
(The story was published on author’s blog and has been reproduced here with minor edits to conform to HinduPost style-guide.)
Did you find this article useful? We’re a non-profit. Make a donation and help pay for our journalism.