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Breaking diplomatic relations with Pakistan is not a pragmatic option: Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal

Updated: January 10, 2013, 5:50 PM IST
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Breaking diplomatic relations with Pakistan is not a pragmatic option: Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal
What should be India's reaction to Pakistan's ceasefire violation?

What should be India's reaction to Pakistan's ceasefire violation, killing of Indian soldiers on the Indian side of the Line of Control and mutilation of a soldier's body? The director of centre for land warfare studies Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal shared his perspective in an interaction with IBNLive readers.

Q. Sir, why do we have live with such inappropriate behaviour always? Why can we not reply in an appropriate manner? Asked by: UTSAV DATTA

A. Firstly, the Pakistan army's dastardly behaviour is reprehensible and must not be forgotten. Secondly, India's response should be a measured response at the diplomatic and military levels. There are several military options.

Q. I think this is time to reply the same way we did in Kargil war ! Asked by: Manish

A. This is a one-off incident possibly undertaken at a very low level and hence calls for only a limited response... The post from which the Pak soldiers came must be severely punished so as to teach them a lesson that they will not easily forget.

Q. How do you read the possibility of a 'militant' / 'terrorist' organisation attacking a Pakistani post and inflicting casualties? Asked by: kelly

A. The probability is low.. A terrorist organisation would be able to strike at military positions in depth, not at a forward post.

Q. This is a clear retaliation to what happend on sunday where a Pak army soldier died why don't the indian media show both side of the story and also why would a soldier behead a enemy... is there a chance this is a 3rd parties job? Asked by: Omar

A. It certainly appears to be retaliatory in nature, but they have gone completely overboard.

Q. India must understand that Pakistan military has planned direct and indirect attacks on India as a of state policy.. Attack on parliament as well as 26/11 were part of this policy.. why do we not declare Pakistan as a terrorist country and isolate it internationally and break all cultural political and commercial relationship? Asked by: profanilgor

A. That is a much larger question... India's policy towards Pakistan has to be a holistic one. Breaking diplomatic relations is not a pragmatic option.

Q. Is there a possibility of third party to monitor the situation on LOC. Asked by: Aman Khan

A. We do not accept third party intervention in bilateral disputes as a matter of principle... there can be many vested interests.

Q. Speaking of technology, does India have weapons and radars which can be stealth (become blind) from Pakistani radars? Asked by: gaurav

A. India is better armed than the Pakistanis.

Q. Shouldn't India also take extreme steps as the US takes against its enemies like boycotting Pakistan at all levels until it understands that these actions are not accepted to us? Or at least halt diplomatic ties and/or talks as Pakistan is a lier country and preaches hatred agsinst India right from its school textbooks? Asked by: gaurav

A. I agree covert operations must be undertaken. There are plenty of doable options.

Q. Is there any end for loosing our people? Asked by: CNH

A. Every soldier's death must be taken very seriously by the political leadership.

Q. What are the possibilities of a nuclear war in the sub continent ? Asked by: Shenoy

A. Both countries are well aware of the possibility of conventional conflict escalating to nuclear war and plans for offensive operations are configured accordingly.

Q. There is a possibility of a nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan by 2025. What would be the consequences of such a war in South Asia Asked by: Jotinder

A. The consequences would be horrendous. At present nuclear stability prevails. This must never be allowed to collapse due to brinkmanship.

Q. Sir, As a nation, are we becoming so soft, that enemy sneak into our land and kill our soldiers and mutilate the bodies. Instead of taking action we find ways for diplomatic talks. Isn't it cowardice? Asked by: Sarin Kumar

A. As I said a short while ago, the situation calls for a measured diplomatic and military response.

Q. I will be more explicit...will the Indian Army, if required, strike at a forward Pakistani Post and blame it on Taliban? Asked by: kelly

A. The Indian Army does not hide behind so-called Mujahideen... it does things up front. However, there are R&AW agents to undertake covert operations.

Q. Officers and jawans of the Indian Army have gone through the courses for tackling the terrorists and insurgents but how did the pakistanis have taken by surprise? Are the personnel not vigil enough? Asked by: Tompok

A. At the tactical level, you can occasionally be taken by surprise even when you are well trained.

Q. Is it time to show some spine? Asked by: Anup Kumar

A. It is always time to show some spine! If the adversary knows the response will be unbearable, he desists from doing stupid things.

Q. Sir..even in back channel talks does Pakistan ever agree to such incidents?..Officially there never do anyways and there is no point in us pushing for a answer or condemnation of this incident from them..I mean how does one solve such issues unless we also indulge in such atrocities and that these are give and take situations and nothing more should be read into this instead of creating this frenzy by the media about such incidents which forces governments on both sides to take positions which sound hardline. Asked by: JK

A. We do not need to indulge in 'such atrocities' but when they happen, the response should inflict deterrent punishment.

Q. Is Indian army capable of Precision attacks(like the one carried out by the US to kill Osama Bin Laden) across the border? Asked by: Avinash Nayak

A. Yes, with advance preparations.

Q. Sir, Do you think that Pakistan does this intentionally so that India retaliate by concentrating most of its artilerry units in the effected areas and leave itself vulnerable else where. They might want to help their so called 'Freedom Fighters or Non state actors' to infiltrate into India from alternate exposed routes. Asked by: Chinoo

A. We have preponderance of firepower.

Q. Do we value life of our soldiers? Asked by: Deepak Sharma

A. We need to value their lives more than we tend to do today.

Q. Even during the Kargil conflict we did not cross the LOC. It is said that had we done so, victory would have been much easier, with much less loss of lives. India is known to always have a 'measured' response despite so many provocations (Saurav Kalia, Kargil, 26/11 et al). Do you think, it is high time the measured response is abandoned and they let be known that enough is enough? Asked by: Vivek

A. Not crossing the LoC during the Kargil conflict was the correct decision at that stage. If things had not gone our way, the COAS would have got back to the PM to seek reversal of the decision.

Q. You say that covert operations against Pakistan should be taken but these are very limited. What is the bottleneck? Asked by: gaurav

A. I said limited action should be taken in this case. I believe that if Pakistan will not handover Hafeez Saeed to us, we should go in covertly and get him.

Q. How does one deal with inhuman and uncivilized barbarians? Surely not be indulging in human activities of trade, visa, cricket, dialogues and invitations? Are we not getting it all wrong? How can we expect anything from the scum of the earth whom nobody wants to deal with? Do we really expect them to change? Asked by: c4conscience

A. We can neither change history, nor geography and war is not an answer... In the long run, we have to engage Pakistan in dialogue and work towards reducing the salience of its military in its polity.

Q. Pakistan has always been lying on critical issues. Story of Osama we know; before 2001 Pakistan was and still is supporting Taliban. Can't India carry a covert operation against Dawood Ibrahim or indirectly, our secret forces kill him and other terrorists living inside Pakistan, UAE and Saudi? Asked by: gaurav

A. I agree with you on the need for covert operations, but do remember that it is a game that two can play...

Q. Shouldn't bilateral sports series be banned b/w India and Pakistan as on one side Pakistan is repeatedly violating ceasefires, peace agreements and on the other, carrying out terrorist attacks against us? Asked by: gaurav

A. Sports should not be politicised... The world sent its athletes to Berlin during Hitler's reign.

Q. Why can't India learn from Mahabharat & Gita?. Lord Krishna did everything to appease the kauravas and to avoid the war. He even offered to accept just 5 villages and live with peace. But the kauravas never learnt. They went on abusing the pandavas. Finally, there was a war. How long India can take the abuse? Asked by: Anand

A. We must raise the cost for the Pakistan army and the ISI.

Q. My question is how many times we need to be reminded by Pakistan that they don't believe in peace?Yes they might pretend that they believe in peace.Indians have short term memory.they can be fooled easily.Pakistan talks about peace so that their citizens can get better medical treatment in India and their artists can find an alternate career in Bollywood.Indian government still trusts Pakistan that they will investigate.They will do nothing as they did during saurabh kalia, kandahar plane hijack,1993 bomb blasts,26/11.Truth is that Indian government is afraid of Pakistan.We always say after attack Pakistan should not test our patience,we believe in peace. For Pakistan we are like barking dogs who never bite.Pakistan is not scared of Indian government.we praised Shahrukh khan for making main hoon na and abused sunny deol for gadar as if without gadar indians awere friends with pakistan.right now the movie main hoon na and aman ki asha looks ridiculous.i am full confident indians will forget this incident after few days as they forgot 26/11 and started sur kshetra. Asked by: arindam kar

A. This is a low-level act... In the long run, peace is in our interest. No one invests in a region mired in conflict.

Q. Shouldn't India stop all activities with Pakistan as time and again it has killed all the trust and peace-agreements with India. This is also because their school textbooks preach hatred against India and we can't turn blind eye to the plight of our forces. Asked by: gaurav

A. Please see previous answers in the thread.

Q. All is fair in love and war. Do you think so? If so why can't "Taliban" (manufactured) attack a Pak forward post? Asked by: kelly

A. The Indian Army does not do things by stealth.

First Published: January 10, 2013, 5:50 PM IST
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