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The Great Pak Meltdown: Three defeats in 24 hours!

New Delhi: Germany tasted massive defeats on three war fronts—the Soviets, the French and the British—in three weeks of March-April, 1945, that decided the fate of the Third Reich. But Germany was still on its feet; its infrastructure was intact to a large extent, its treasury not broke and its morale was not gloomy.

Now, imagine a bankrupt Pakistan tasting three defeats back-to-back on diplomatic fronts in just 24 hours! Islamabad has created this dubious world record.

But don’t conclude Pakistan would learn any lesson from these defeats. In its historical curve, an Islam-fatigued Islamabad may have entered a nihilist phase when it could endeavour to destroy anything that has not endeared it.

How to taste defeat: An “emergency meeting” of the UN Security Council, requested by Pakistan and supported by China, underway on Friday on the Jammu and Kashmir issue. Pakistan’s attempts to ‘internationalize’ India’s internal matter came a cropper.

The First Defeat

On Friday, India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh hinted that New Delhi could possibly “revise” its “No First Use” nuclear policy. This is a paradigm shift of power equations not only in South Asia but globally. It is an indirect announcement that India has arrived as a global power. How? Even after three successful explosions of nuclear devices, India was the only country, so far, to declare that it will not be the first nation to launch a nuclear attack on an enemy. In diplomacy, it meant that New Delhi reserved the right to launch a massive nuclear counter-attack on an enemy attacking it with nuclear weapons.

Now, with a possible “revision” of this traditional policy, India has grabbed the initiative to launch a nuclear attack—the way the initiative has been with the US, China, Russia, Israel, and North Korea. In simple words, if provoked enough, India will not wait for an enemy’s nuclear attack!

And remember, Singh’s new ‘doctrine’ came just a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced, in his Independence Day Speech, the establishment of a unificatory mechanism for India’s security regime: Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS). In 1971, some bureaucrats had frustrated Indira Gandhi’s attempt to make the then Army chief, Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw, as the first CDS; the Modi Government has revived the idea close on heels of abrogating the Article 370. It means the CDS would be empowered to launch simultaneous attacks across air, naval and land borders; in defence matters, he would be next only to the President, the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister—free from any bureaucratic manipulations.

India’s “Missile Man” and the then President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, with Field Marshal (Retd) SHFJ Manekshaw in a file photo.

Predictably, Pakistan’s bluff has been called on more fronts than one; in addition, it is also a veiled warning to Beijing. And Singh’s “comments” came hours before China was supposed to be siding with Pakistan in the “closed meeting” of the UNSC on Friday!

The Second Defeat

The way a spoilt brat’s blackmailing tactics have an expiry-date, Islamabad’s use-by date  of terror-cum-nuclear bomb threat was Friday, August 16, 2019, when the UNSC called its bluff. Its diplomatic acrobatics will no longer work. Barring China, none of the 15 members of the Council sided by Islamabad which wanted to ‘internationalize’ India’s internal matter to abrogate the “special status” of Jammu and Kashmir and reorganize the border state into two Union Territories. The fait accompli has been accepted  by the UNSC, despite Pakistan’s repeated threats of war, terrorism, blackmail and brinksmanship. With this, Pakistan has been left with no shoulder to cry on.

The Third Defeat

In yet another severe setback to Pakistan, America drastically slashed the aid to a broke Islamabad by US$ 440 million, reducing its commitment to just US$4.1 billion. This aid was part of the Pakistan Enhanced Partnership Agreement (PEPA), September 2010, and came about three weeks before Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s next visit to Washington.

Under PEPA, Pakistan was supposed to receive US$ 7.5 billion over a period of five years. In 2018, however, Washington cancelled financial aid of US4300 million for its failure to control terrorism. Another US$ 1 billion was cut early this year.

Last month, when Imran Khan met US President Trump, the latter said: “We were paying US $1.3 billion to Pakistan as aid, for many years. The problem was…Pakistan was not doing anything for us. They were really subversive. They were going against us. I ended that about a year and a half ago, the US $1.3 billion (aid).”

After these back-to-back defeats, what can Pakistan do next?

To begin with, Imran Khan will address the Nation on Saturday evening.

Watch this space….

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