The investigations into 13/12 have established some facts:
1. The Pakistan Army (as distinct from Pak intelligence) was directly involved in the planning and execution of the attack.
2. The Generals in Rawalpindi had moved their strike formations into the "Chickens Neck" area of the International Border BEFORE 13/12. This obviously shows that they were fully aware that something *big* was to happen that would provoke the Indians into responding.
3. The original plan was to strike the IGI airport terminals in New Delhi, and blowing up parked aircraft just like the LTTE did in Colombo. BUt the terrorists and their advisors changed their plans to attack the Parliament bldg, because Musharraf wanted something *big*.
It is well known, (despite the benefit of doubt that Americans are giving the Paksitanis) that bin Laden has indeed sneaked into Pakistan and is staying in the NWFP province of Pakistan as the guest of the ISI. This was the quid-pro-quo that Musharraf had promised the other generals to get their support in making his 180 degree turn wrt the Taleban. This whole act of stage managing the terrorist strike on India was to provoke India into a conflict and divert the American attention. The talk of a *nuclear conflict* is enough to provoke the gullible American adminstration into intervening, while the Pak generals make arrangements for OBL's repatriation. And this is something they have succeeded in.
There is one thing that we Indians must accept. The Pakistani Army generals understand the American mindset better than we do. They know how exploit the gullibility and arrogance of the US administration to the hilt, which they have done fantastically.
But having said that, We still have to find a way to destroy this menace. There is only one place for dictatorships like the one in Pakistan, and that is in the rubbish bin of history. India is now committed to do just that, regardless of whether Washington approves of this or not.
Despite this commitment to finish the regime of Musharraf, India is a responsible democracy, and we understand that Nuclear weapons are the weapons of LAST CHOICE. WE have many even more effective weapons that we can and will use in our war against the rogue regime, and that is something that Western nations must understand. Our govt is not intent on behaving like irresponsible Texan cowboys on a Ranch as some *other* countrys' leaders have behaved not so very long ago! . War is a serious business, and while entering the War Room, we shall make sure that the Cowboy boots and hats and all other accesories are kept outside.
The most powerful weapon is of economic sanctions. One way is to starve Pakistan by building up the scale of the economic blockade on Pakistan, and enforcing it militarily if necessary. This should lead to civil unrest and automatically bring down that military regime. We should also make it a pre-condition that Western countries who do business with the military regime in Pakistan shall not be allowed access to the Indian market.
We can also provide large subsidies to Indian exporters of Rice, Wheat and other major exports of Pakistan. India has over 60 million tonnes of Rice surplus as of date, enough to feed India for another 2 years if need be, so such subsidies should not be a problem. There could be similar measures in Textiles as well to enable Indian exporters to undercut the Pakistani exports. Both textiles and processed rice are major forex earners for Pakistan, and any such moves would surely bring down the Pakistani economy, and substantially erode its ability to wage war on anyone.
A major diplomatic effort has to be undertaken to ensure that Western countries do not prop up the military regime by providing economic aid in any form. While the members of the British Commonwealth share our concerns, America should be expected to be a hard nut to crack in this regard especially with the Republican Party in power there, which has displayed a history of anti-India behavior in the past 50 years. But I am sure that at the end of the day, considering its own concerns on these issues, America will not want to be caught on the wrong side of the history books.
On the military front, We could very well turn Pakistans Kargil incursion theories inside out, and borrow a chapter from the books of our Israeli friends by limited incursions into Pakistani territory to capture and establish "buffer zones" just like what Israel has done, while at the same time avoiding all-out war.
In the long run, these measures are likely to be more beneficial than an all out military campaign, even a conventional one.
So from where I see it, there is NO THREAT at all of a nuclear war or even a conventional war, because right now there are other options to be explored.
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