There is probably no more gratuitous statement of intent than saying that the deaths of any person will not go in vain. This sentiment sours into insult when nothing is done or more importantly seen to be done.
In the case of the two soldiers killed and mutilated on the LoC last week we can still hope that retribution is on the way seeing as how revenge is a dish that tastes best when served cold. Paramjit Singh from Punjab and Prem Sagar from Uttar Pradesh were treated with disrespect — totally against the conventions of war.
Our rage was national in texture and genuine. But as much as one would like to lose on this one that sneaky feeling that Pakistan has got away with it again seems to be manifesting itself by the day.
This is exactly how Islamabad probably projected the scenario. There will be a great deal of noise and heat and dust and then the issue will slide away with just the families left to mourn their lost loved ones.
No one is naïve enough or immature enough to demand that we send our troops barging in to enemy territory in some heroic do or die fashion. In any case, the military options having lost their element of surprise are unlikely to be valid for now. The Pakistanis would have regrouped, be on the ready and laid out ambushes in case India made a move even belatedly. If one recalls, from the end of January 2017, Pakistan has increased its nuclear missile tests and ramped up its arsenal.
Fair enough, we are not aggressors. We are always the nice guys and we issue warnings with dexterity and purpose so next time, watch it. There is always that next time.
It becomes necessary to assess the sum total of our actions. We say we upped the turrets and the barrels and dispatched volleys of firepower after the commitment of the atrocity. Since we have no idea what we accomplished or the casualties we inflicted it is difficult to quantify just how much this exercise intimidated our hostile neighbours. The prime minister, the defence minister, the Army chief, all the relevant dramatis personae save the silly Congress said the appropriate things.
But what we got was the dispatch of a bunch of 15-year-old Pakistani students being sent back across the border with nothing else to back that decision. No blockage of visas, no threat to recall our diplomats, no impact that is discernible on the commercial and financial aspects, not even a subtle reminder of our capability to divert the waters of the Indus river and revoke the treaty which Pakistan has said it will see as an act of war. So be it. At least raise the level of the threat. After all, water wars are the new battlefields so why not do some churning in the river and agitate the neighbour.
It is not India that has stopped Pakistan International Airlines flying into the country. It is PIA that has decided to suspend flights to Mumbai from 15 May.
Indian and Pakistani business houses continue to trade informally through third countries and no move has been made to reconsider the imports and exports by proxy which is twice as much and more than the official trade agreements.
That would bruise their pocket much more than ours.
But we did summon the Pakistani ambassador and give him a dressing down. Guess that is a start. What do we do now? Wait for the next act before raising ourselves to righteous indignation again.
Updated Date: May 07, 2017 13:19 PM