If you cannot go to war you cannot have peace at the current price. Uri will keep happening. That is the rock and hard place between which the Modi government finds itself. Like with those who lead us, we also tend to ‘let it go’ and our stamina for the long-haul is suspect. Already there is a kind of déjà vu setting in over the Uri attacks only stimulated again by the firing from Pakistan troops in the same area today.
These infringements are not likely to end and will only fan out into different kinds of sorties.
While reams have been written these past four days and every commentator has a valid point to make this government cannot do everything to please everyone. No government can.
But is there a viable third option once the customary whining to the UN, the cancellation of summits and conferences, the series of largely pointless warnings of revenge and the promise to the people that those men in uniform did not die in vain have been ceremoniously recorded?
We have all been that route before and there is no pot of gold at the end of this bleak rainbow.
Perhaps there is an odd concept which could be taking shape. One of Pakistan’s pleasures is the leaky faucet of Indian information. They know what we do in all spheres. Islamabad derives a great deal of strength and knowhow from this flow of real time data.
What would befuddle them most, whether army, ISI or the elected government is not to know what India is thinking. This fall of a blanket would cause Islamabad not only anxiety but also confuse their projections.
These Indians must be thinking something, upto something, but what, why have they blacked us out?
How do we weaponise silence and make it lethal? By simply dropping the curtains and shutting our neighbor out. On all fronts. Yes, we know they are there and we are not pretending they are not. We just do not recognise them. They are non-existent so we cannot have any ties, be they the arts or sciences, travel or diplomatic ties, sports or education.
There has to be an absolute walk away. Close down the embassy. That's a start.
It is not as subtle as you might imagine. Freezing out an entity has many strong points in its favour. You isolate your adversary. You just do not explain, defend, comment, apologise, take the bait on any issue at any level at any time.
You let it complain, accuse, point fingers, just ignore everything. At the same time keep on going without elaboration, staying totally mum on strategy and tactics, military movements and diplomatic initiatives.
As a ploy if India can actually manage to simply shut out Pakistan in a mind game the fallout will be incredible besides the bonus of driving them crazy second guessing India.
Cold war options have always included the cold shoulder as a viable one in that it is the best alternative to all out war.
The only weakness intrinsic in exercising it is that if there are exceptions made it will not work. It has to be a total ‘ignore’ to use the slang.
The question is whether we are capable of doing that.