It goes unnoticed that India launched many small wars of unifications in 1947. How many in the world (even Pakistan) realise that in 1947 India was half the size it is today. From 1947 to 1961, Indian geographical map expanded two folds. There seems no end to this mythical size that goes beyond existing boundaries to Vedic History. As interpreted by Hindu scholars, the Great India extends from Indonesia in the Far East to Egypt in the North and across the Pamir Range up to Central Asia. Yemen, parts of Saudi Arabia and Oman belong to it. Abraham the prophets of Jews, Christians and Muslims was the Sanskrit ‘Brahama’ and Sara his wife was ‘Sarasvati’.  

To understand Indian quest for a great power status, analysts have to understand the Indian political and military mind through Arthashastras and Mahabharata respectively.  India is an imperial and hegemonic country whose expansionist ambitions are ever growing. 

According to an Indian Professor Beni Prasad Sil, “Hindu political thought has a spirit, a milieu, an atmosphere of its own as different from their western counter parts as Hindu personality, temperament and outlook are different from what one finds in Western Europe. Hindu thought does not fall under any of the accepted categories of western speculation. It stands by itself”. Therefore, very little has been written on India’s expansionism and how it has extracted the best of both worlds during the Cold War and now. Everything grows out of its ‘Vedic Ritualism’. 

It is a failure that Pakistani establishment, intelligentsia and media have never debated this aspect. There have failed to identify and pre-empt initiatives India took within global politics to consolidate its position at the cost of Pakistan. This ‘was and remains’ Pakistan’s biggest weakness as its rulers despite knowing the obvious looted and plundered the country to a point of bankruptcy. How could an economically weak and dependent Pakistan assert itself?  It is for these reasons that Pakistan’s policy in Middle East and Islamic world has been wanting. From a position of leadership in 1973, Pakistan has willingly degraded itself to an errand boy what Wussatullah Khan calls a ‘Bakshoo’. 

This trend of annexing lands that constituted the Greater Hindustan (Land of Indus) right to the time of Mahabharata forms the core of Saffron Ideology. This imperialism that ran through the Congress Party is a notch further with BJP. This poses a constant threat to all neighboring countries like Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and even China. Indian frequent use of terms like Akhand Bharat, Bharat Versha and recollection of mythical history keeps this ideology alive. Landlocked countries around the Himalayan Rim have become dependencies. The myth of a submerged causeway between the Indian southern tip and Sri Lanka keeps dreams of annexing this island alive.  Maldives and many islands in straights of Malacca have sunk and Mohenjodaro and Harappa obliterated by mythical nuclear devices as part of Karma. They will rise and Saraswati flow again when India becomes great. This is the crux of Indian political and military mind everyone fails to read. 

In 1947, the occupations were facilitated by Governor General Mountbatten who acquiesced and abetted unilateral amendment to Section 6 of the Indian Legislative Act 1935. Great Britain was complicit, in that, it left many ambiguities to questions of inheritance about paramountcy rights of princely states. This led to India’s forced occupation of many independent princely states like Hyderabad Decan, Kashmir, Junagarh, Gwalior, Jodhpur and Bhopal under a British commander.  In 1961, Goa, Daman and Diu were annexed through military action. As an inheritor of British Raj, India used its aircraft carrier Vikrant against Goa defended by a few thousand Portuguese soldiers and natives. Earlier, land locked districts of Dadra and Nagar Haveli were forced to surrender. 

A common denominator in all these imperial adventures is the participation of the Hindu right wingers led by Rashtriya Sevak Sang (RSS) at Jammu, Srinagar, Himachal Pardesh massacres, partition genocide and Goa. The victorious West whimpered but acquiesced. USSR pushed to create a counter balance. The world stood as a bystander as India conquered one land after another.  Now their ranks have grown into the largest political party of India. Like 1947, hordes are debouching into IHK to what they do best; kill, maim, rape and abduct. 

India revoked Article 370 with regards to controversial status of Indian held Kashmir (IHK) amidst global and regional dynamics that India reckoned were in its favour. Modi’s action was not a calculated risk but an annexation he did with confident abandon. Barring Pakistan (a party to the conflict), few came out with condemnation. Protests in Bangladesh indicated that Two Nation Theory is still alive. Others took a middle ground. The unkindest cuts came from Arab Kingdoms that have already abandoned the Palestinian people and become the vanguard of Zionist interests in the region.  

The optics of post 370 scenarios lead to  important conclusions. 

It is intriguing that Indian declaration came immediately after the visit of Pakistan’s Prime Minister to USA and President Trump’s willingness to negotiate over Kashmir. The way Prime Minister Modi clenched fisted President Trump’s hand during the G 7 summit indicates that everything was well coordinated and planned. Most likely, President Trump bluffed Pakistan in his typical demeanour creating complacency. This is a habit President follows in his tweets and surprising utterances, sometimes contradicting state policies only to become a whimper subsequently. Trump knows his politics and does it in his style. Pakistan must not fall prey second time. 

It is also intriguing that seven Islamic countries have conferred awards on Prime Minister Modi despite him being the mastermind of Gujarat massacres. It is no coincidence that all of them are US dependencies. None have spoken against Indian annexation of Kashmir. UAE went as far as declaring it an internal matter of India. These countries are Saudi Arabia - April 2016, Afghanistan - June 2016, Palestine - February 2018, Maldives - June 2019, Bahrain - August 2019 and UAE - August 2019. Significant are Arab Kingdoms. 

Pakistani establishment has to introspect. Are Arab Kingdoms worthy friends of Pakistan? It is obvious; they walk a dotted course set by USA and Israel. Pakistan’s obsession with these countries has to end. 

Interestingly these kingdoms are also part of an alliance that includes Israel and USA. India due to its connections with Israel is an auxiliary of this alliance in terms of encircling Pakistan. Militarily, this geographical zone falls under CENTCOM. The term Greater Middle East was articulated by President Bush on how the West could dominate the Muslim World in the Southern Front of containment.  Former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski alluded to the Greater Middle East as the “Global Balkans”, and, a control lever on an area he referred to as Eurasia. Most Pakistanis have not even realised they are the ultimate in crosshairs of this western strategy. Now Pakistan has to rethink its priorities quickly. 

India’s annexation of Kashmir finds space within the larger Western strategy of a Greater Middle East. There is a containment ring around Pakistan with India on two sides and USA sitting in Afghanistan. Economically and logistically, the greed of Pakistani leadership leaves no options. Pakistan has willingly downgraded its only lifeline through CPEC; a Sino-Pak initiative made controversial. 

To go to IMF or not was the million dollar question? By doing so Pakistan has deprived itself of any leverage and immediate economic resurgence. Creating and facilitating God sent opportunities for home led growth are still no priority. Within South Asia, Pakistan ranks lowest in agriculture output per capita. 

This leaves Pakistan with a lopsided aggregate of national power. This means an economic failure, corruption to the core and heavy dependence on foreign loans. In contrast are strong armed forces with a nuclear fist. Should Pakistan remain timid before Indian provocations? No, never! 

Pakistan will have to set many red lines on Indian provocations. Any conflict will have to be short, intense and decisive below a nuclear threshold. Anything to the contrary; the Saffron ambitions of a greater India would mean ‘End of History’.