The master plan was created sometime after the debacle in 1948. The scheme was to introduce trained guerrillas in the garb of ‘freedom fighters’ who were tasked with gaining sympathies of the local population and staging an uprising. After a local ‘uprising’ it would become incumbent upon the country where this plan originated to sweep in and claim victory. In 1964, a ‘Kashmir Cell’ was created by the military establishment. The aforementioned scheme was devised, with some modifications. Following the ‘victory’ in Runn of Katch and equipped with the latest American weapons, Pakistan Army was on a high. It was decided that Kashmir would be liberated from the shackles of India through ‘Operation Gibraltar’. In July 1965, trained ‘volunteers’ entered Kashmir and were supposed to start an uprising and take over important installations in the Valley during the month of August.

Once the volunteers were actually in Kashmir, the plan began to unravel. Instead of cooperating with the intruders, Kashmiris actually informed Indian authorities about the ‘visitors’. As a result, Martial Law was proclaimed in the Valley and most of the volunteers were arrested. To save face, Pakistan Army started ‘Operation Grandslam’, aimed at cutting off the Kashmir Valley from mainland India. By the time this operation got underway, the Indians had smelled a rat. They retaliated by attacking Pakistani cities close to the International Border. A 17-day war ensued and none of the two countries emerged victorious from it.

In 1971, a similar plan was devised by the Indian army to attack Pakistan. Codenamed ‘Operation Instruction’, ‘volunteers’ from East Pakistan were trained by the Indian army, from May 1971 onwards. By November of that year, almost 80 thousand Bengalis had been trained in those camps. The ‘volunteers’ formed the bulk of ‘Mukti Bahini’, meaning ‘Liberation Army’. Pakistan Army had started ‘Operation Searchlight’ in March 1971 against Benagli nationalists, ceding moral ground to the separatist cause. India’s plan actually worked and Pakistan’s ground forces were frustrated enough to start a war with India in November 1971. This time, ignominious defeat became the fate of Pakistani forces. War propaganda was being waged till the very end. Newspapers printed on 16th December 1971(the day Pakistani forces surrendered) in West Pakistan proclaimed ‘War Till Victory’ and ‘Jehad means total commitment’.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently visited Bangladesh and was gifted a picture of the ‘Surrender Ceremony’ from 1971 by Bangladesh’s Prime Minister, Hasina Wajid. The picture of this exchange went viral and infuriated PakNationalist types to no end. During his address at Dhaka University, PM Modi accused Pakistan of constantly disturbing India and promoting terrorism. He also recounted the role of India in formation of Bangladesh. Mr. Modi has been aggressive on foreign policy issues from day one and recent ‘posturing’ in this regard is a continuation of the same policy. Coupled with rhetoric about fighting terrorism with terrorism, Indian authorities are clearly sending a warning signal to the jingoistic sections in Pakistan’s body politic. As if on cue, salvos were fired by retired and serving army officials from Pakistan, talking about retaliation.

While in Bangladesh, Modi also ratified the Land Boundary agreement with Bangladesh, signed a coastal shipping project, an agreement for certifying products manufactured in Bangladesh and a pact to increase cooperation between the Coast Guards.

Pakistan’s foreign Office has protested against Modi’s statements and has threatened to ‘expose’ the role of India in the breakup of Pakistan. Senator Sartaj Aziz said that Islamabad had taken ‘strong notice’ of PM Modi’s statement ‘acknowledging’ India’s intervention in 1971. A veteran of International Affairs, Mr. Sartaj Aziz should be well-informed about PM Modi’s front-foot approach to India’s foreign policy when it comes to Pakistan. He might also notice the fact that Pakistan (or West Pakistan) should be blamed for most of the problems that surfaced in the Eastern Wing from 1947 till 1971. It was in Dhaka that Mr. Jinnah warned University Students that “Urdu and only Urdu will be your National Language. Anyone who tells you otherwise is your enemy”.

Mr. Aziz should acknowledge the role played by West Pakistani bureaucracy, politicians and army in curbing Benagli culture, language and population. During the 1965 war, Army adopted probably the stupidest war strategy existing under the sun (after Strategic Depth), namely “Defence of the East lies in the West”. When the fight actually started, the safety of Western border itself was jeopardised, leaving East Pakistan to fend for itself with a two-infantry brigade division and no tanks. Was that ridiculous policy prepared in New Delhi?

What about the atrocities of Pakistan army during and after ‘Operation Searchlight’ in March 1971? Would the Foreign Office take a look at the Hamood-ur-Rehman commission report (still classified by the government) compiled by an Independent Judicial Commission to ascertain the causes behind the secession of East Pakistan?

And let’s admit this once and for all. Our state has sponsored terrorism since its inception and has used terrorism as a valid foreign policy instrument to extract rent primarily from the United States. Kashmir, Afghanistan and India have been affected by activities of ‘volunteers’ sent in different times from Pakistan. What we can do it to bury the hatchet and renounce the use of terrorism against neighbouring countries. We can demonstrate our stand on cross-border terrorism and reduce PM Modi’s statements to hot air.