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Kashmir annexation: the grand plan

On 5 August 2019, United States finally executed its well-conceived plan through India in Kashmir. A plan that risked triggering a nuclear war before time, was actually designed to “handle Pakistan’s nuclear blackmail” once for all. Washington was sure that the abrupt settlement of Kashmir by any means would extinguish the nuclear flash point for good. While United States ensured that its strategic partnership specific to terrorism and peace process in Afghanistan with Pakistan survives, yet the plan could not avoid Islamabad’s realization that Pakistan was not that important an ally to United States as it thought.
United States always lacked trust with Pakistan. It regarded Islamabad as the main player to botch Washington’s scheme of “few days for victory” in Afghanistan. Indo-US collaborative strategies in Afghanistan and the rant of “Do More? further stretched this trust gap. Washington always saw Pakistan as part of the problem and not as part of the solution. Falling out of patience in Afghanistan, United States engaged India. India became so favorite in the region that US bestowed upon India a nuclear deal which granted it recognition of a de-jure nuclear state. While Islamabad was in repair mode regaining the trust with Washington, Indian lobbyists were using weight of around 2.8 million strong Indian community in United States to float a well-crafted narrative against Pakistan. The narrative aimed to discredit and malign Pakistan labeling it as an irresponsible nuclear state. India played the “good boy” role by adopting “No First Use” policy while Pakistan’s nuclear policy remained vague owing to low nuclear threshold and asymmetry of conventional military power. Well-funded Indian lobbyists not only influenced American policymakers for futuristic strategic partnership but also succeeded in making it impossible for Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal to win international approval. Allegations of nuclear proliferation stigmatized Pakistan’s nuclear identity while people who mattered in United States continued to blame Pakistan for creating a yard sale situation of nuclear proliferation to North Korea, Iran and Libya. Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal started to prick the eyes of world spinning Netflix style stories of nukes falling into the hands of terrorists. Pakistan reacted strongly on these assumptions yet it did not rule out use of nukes in any future war maintaining that its nuclear capability was a necessary deterrence. Nevertheless United States excluded to recognize Pakistan as a responsible nuclear state, it also tried its level best to get the first-hand knowledge of Pakistan deterrent capabilities to assess actual level of threat.
Indo-US ties were progressing on fast traction while Pakistan did not realize the impact of this trans-societal engagement. Washington’s love for Delhi gradually manifested in shape of tremendous pressure on Pakistan to dismantle Jihadi outfits. It was getting clear that United States was way too worried on issues between India and Pakistan. There was a realization that, the only issue that could push entire world into a nuclear war was Kashmir. Thus Washington started consulting with India to remove the causes-belli of a potential nuclear war.
United States could not work out on a plan to disarm Pakistan which both United States and India desired. Pakistan was showing resilience to every coercive attempt standing firm facing multilateral fiscal squeeze from International financial institutions. However, the successive self-centric governments in Islamabad could not read writing on the wall. Pakistan could do nothing but complain that Islamabad has sacrificed a lot, cooperated much and has done enough. Thus it never deserved this treatment. But whenever Islamabad complained, Washington reminded Pakistan “To Do More”, discontinue incursions across the LOC and make peace with India.
Visibly, United States engagement with India was more beneficial than relationship with Pakistan. Delhi was persistently persuading Washington that with Kashmir dispute solved, the possibility of nuclear eruption could be averted and with all options wiped out for Pakistan, Islamabad could be persuaded to normalize relations with her adversary and accept a status quo.
It was a win-win situation for India which was fully prepared to benefit from the opportunity. Post US-India partnership, India started making her mind to construct an environment to check Pakistan’s responses. India started constructing a series of water-dams on Pakistan’s rivers, inducted more troops in Kashmir to address internal security issues, started to raise voice higher on diplomatic forums alleging Pakistan’s involvement in sponsoring terrorism, conducted false-flag operations and kept LOC deliberately hot. Flags of ISIS (Daesh) were deliberately introduced in Kashmir to give legitimacy for use of force against civil population. On the other hand, India left no stone unturned on diplomatic front to put Pakistan on back foot. Pakistan was forced to ban Jihadist groups particularly those involved in Kashmir. Meanwhile using workable tricks such as FATF, Pakistan was confined into a diplomatic corner where no external help from world could reach.
Finally India was given a go ahead to annex Kashmir through constitutional amendment. An economically weak and diplomatically isolated Pakistan could do little in this regard. Fears of Nuclear war suddenly rose high but soon dwindled as expected. Options for Pakistan seemed limited and the only option that was available to accept status quo on Kashmir and annex what Pakistan already had.
Now, for Pakistan, the worst has already happened. Islamabad frustration is visible since no workable options are insight. Kashmiris on either sides of LOC are expecting more from Pakistan’s government which is doing everything short of initiating a war. Pakistan realizes that incase of India and Pakistan, there would never be a limited war. War would be all along the international border and would see introduction of tactical nuclear arsenal within days of the D-day. What happens next, no body knows. With test fire of nuclear capable missiles, Pakistan is trying to send strategic messages across and also to the key players on international forums. But an encouraging response is yet to come. Pakistan will exercise restraint for now and will explore legal, diplomatic and political options. It seems the world also wants to see the limits of restraint from Pakistan. India has done as planned but at present it cannot afford a war. Internal security issues are getting worst for India and in case of war, it will have to fight on inner front as well. For United States, Kashmir will be settled one way or the other, but without a nuclear war. What happens in phase-II of this grand plan, nobody is sure. One thing that is for sure is that Pakistan cannot afford to ignore the plan that renders the nuclear deterrence useless. Pakistan cannot afford accept this illegal annexation. The situation is simmering. It would either settle or bursts in flames. In case it bursts in flames, it won’t be India or Pakistan but the entire humanity to suffer.



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