India made two mistakes in succession. Changed the status of Indian Occupied Kashmir without correct assessment of its consequences, and while the international and their own internal blowback was still at full swing, that could not be absorbed, committed the second fatal error of imposing an unpalatable Citizens Act which has attracted worldwide as well as unexpected local condemnation. As this was not enough, they are showing intentions of undertaking a third blunder of attacking Azad Kashmir or/and Pakistan. Thus, likely to complete a cycle of a cascade of errors. And there is a saying that ‘ when your enemy is committing mistakes, do not interrupt’. PTI Govt, probably inadvertently, seems to be following that policy.

Whereas the Govt’s efforts in the field of diplomacy are commendable, with profound effects the world over, it has failed to carryout compatible steps in Law-fare, Psychological domain, Military, and Political arenas. Unless we build a total pressure on the Indian Government and deter their Military ambitions, the desired effects of modifying their belligerent attitude may not be attained. Mere moral international pressure, and that too weak and partial, is not likely to work. In fact, a more aggressive Pakistani posture is also likely to push the international community into some solid actions. Our continuous behaviour of being in a reactionary mode has resulted in muted and unconcerned international attitude as well as increased Indian aggressive behaviour.

One nuclear power’s ever-threatening posture has to be met with equally potent and credible counter threats by an equally good, if not better nuclear entity. Otherwise, Indian fait accompli will be conveniently swallowed by the important international actors, as they may sense no urgency in the situation. This point needs to be debated and understood by our Politico-Military leadership. There is no need to repeat what statements are being hurled from across the border and the responses being generated from our side. Whenever there is a statement of politico-strategic nature, it impacts on the domestic audience and the enemy’s mindset has also to be weighed in. Obsession of only pleasing the international audience, at times, is an incomplete maneuver. And, that is exactly what we are doing and talking.

How should we tackle the oft-asked question by many peace lovers, ‘ What else Pakistan can do ?’ This question itself belies the bankruptcy of intellectual and strategic thinking, as there is no blind alley in politics and strategy. Hiding behind the facade of the weak economy for our inactivity in other than diplomatic fields will only result in weakening of pressure on the Indian mindset and keeping the international community non-serious on Kashmir and Hindutva.

Now the list of possible things that Pakistan may consider undertaking:-

1. In the field of Lawfare, we need to prepare a folder of War Crimes that Indian occupation forces are perpetrating in Kashmir, and present it at appropriate International Forums. Statements and actions of their army generals should be used for their indictment.

2. We would be doing a great service to Kashmiris if we urge Red Cross to look into the supply position of food and medicines in the Valley. Must push the international community to arrange a neutral fact-finding mission.

3. In the political arena, we may mull on the abrogation of the Simla Agreement, converting Line of Control, LoC, back to Ceasefire Line.

4. Installation of Government in Exile to represent people of IOK may be debated.

5. UNSC may be asked to conduct partial plebiscite where ever possible ( Gilgit Baltistan and AK).

6. UN may be requested to carry out registration of population in the entire region of Kashmir (both sides of Line of Control), including the diaspora so that any attempt to further change the demography can be thwarted.

7. We may start large scale training of our youth in AK and Pakistan on the premise of assisting the armed forces in defending our motherland whenever required.

8. Our one-sided resolve that we shall never initiate hostilities should be made contingent on the immediate cessation of atrocities in IOK. Aggressive psychological and media warfare should replace our present peace-seeking and meek National Narrative.

Those who think that table talks are the only solution to the complicated international political issues should glance over the recent history of Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, etc. And before we fall for the trap of US mediation, do take a look at what happened in the case of Palestine. Those countries that fail to leverage their full power potential are always at the mercy of prevalent strong and cruel international political and economic order. The mindset of leadership shapes the destiny of nations.