Finally, Pakistan showed pragmatism and accepted that the 26/11 attack is largely linked to its citizens. The outcome of India’s diplomatic offensive has striking similarities to the outcome of Kargil war in 1999.
Both the attacks were executed after careful and lengthy planning and were highly professional. 26/11 has a frighteningly expansive global footprint. If Pakistan is correct, people in Spain, Austria, Italy and USA were involved in the attacks.
The Kargil war was waged to undermine the Pakistan civilian government and also to destroy the improving Indo-Pakistan relations at that time. The 26/11 attack also seems to follow the same pattern. While the former succeeded in achieving both objectives, we will have to wait to see if 26/11 also achieves the objectives.
Whereas Kargil war was carried out by the Pakistan military, 26/11 was carried out by militant groups with some apparent connection to the Pakistan intelligence agencies. India has accused the ISI of masterminding the attacks. In both the cases, the civilian government was caught unawares.
If the masterminds of Kargil went wrong in the assumption that they can occupy Kargil forever before India can counterattack, the 26/11 planners went wrong in their assumption that none of the terrorists were going to be captured alive. The attackers also left evidence behind which turned out to be very crucial.
India suffered significant casualties in both the attacks. Indians were angry and went through enormous anguish, but in both the cases, rallied around each other and showed their outstanding resilience.
In both the cases, US played a huge role in normalizing the situation. President Clinton acted very tough against Pakistan and was able to force the Pakistan army to pull back from Kargil. In the case of 26/11, US sent the FBI to India and helped in collecting foolproof evidence that Pakistan could not brush aside. If Pakistan were to divert its army from the Pakistan-Afghan border to Indo-Pakistan border, the biggest problem will be for the US. So it was in US’s interest to ensure that it did not happen.
If Kargil forced the international community for the first time to acknowledge that India is the victim of Pakistan sponsored terrorism, 26/11 went further. International community, especially US and UK, put enormous pressure on Pakistan to come out of its denial mode and confront the terrorists in its soil. The first global “live telecast” of terror attacks and the killing of the foreigners significantly increased the concerns of the international community.
There is no doubt that while it must have been very painful for Pakistan to admit India’s blame, this is a significant victory for the Indian government for keeping up the pressure on Pakistan with its diplomatic offensive. Kudos to them for resisting the call by the war-hawks to attack Pakistan. That would have been disastrous. The only concern is, our political leaders will start a war of wards to claim credit and squander away the advantages of India’s huge symbolic victory.
One question remains. Kargil ensured electoral victory for the ruling establishment. Will 26/11 have a similar effect? We’ll find out the answer in another 4 months.
And how should India respond now? Read the article “India, please help Pakistan!”
Image Credit: Stuti
- The Charge Of The General
- Why India is Special
- Action Is The Need Of The Hour
- Why Is The Evidence Provided About 26/11 Not Enough?
- India, Please Help Pakistan!