'India should stop claiming that a united Pakistan is in India's interests.'
'Pakistan's break-up is a necessity for peace and progress in the region,' says Major General Mrinal Suman (retd).
It is India's great misfortune that it has been cursed with a neighbour like Pakistan.
A nation born out of hatred needs hatred for its continued sustenance.
Over a period of time, like a cancerous tumour, hatred for India has made deep inroads into Pakistan's national psyche.
It has been devouring its vitals, hurling it into the abyss of a failed State.
In its obsession to harm India, Pakistan has chosen the path of self-destruction.
All nations have certain core values like ensuring THE safety, wellbeing and health of its citizens.
Unfortunately, Pakistan's core values are negative in nature.
These values are based on the sole principle of 'hate and hurt India.'
Due to decades of indoctrination and brainwashing, most Pakistanis suffer from an extremely brutal, sadistic and vicious anti-Indian streak.
One may not fully agree with former Australian Test umpire Darrell Hair's description of Pakistani cricketers as 'cheats, frauds and liars.' But the fact is that the world considers Pakistan to be an untrustworthy and deceitful nation.
Pakistan has made duplicity to be its national policy.
Treachery is in the Pakistani DNA.
Quite rightly, the whole world considers Pakistan a rogue State.
Independent Pakistan started its track record with treachery.
Despite having signed a 'standstill agreement' with the state of Jammu and Kashmir, it unleashed raiders on the hapless Kashmir Valley.
In April 1965, it launched a surprise attack on Kutch. Later that year, it infiltrated its forces into Kashmir, expecting a local uprising against India. It also provided sanctuaries to underground elements of North-Eastern India.
After its defeat in 1971, Pakistan has been exporting terror to India in every possible manner.
The Line of Control has always been a hotbed of Pakistan's nefarious activities.
The recent attack on Uri and India's strong response through surgical strikes has reignited the conflict.
Both sides have been resorting to intense fire. Border villages are suffering acute damage. This firefight has the potential to get more confrontational.
'Be patient with a bad neighbour: He may move' is a famous Egyptian proverb. Unfortunately, such hopes cannot be entertained with respect to a bad neighbouring country.
India has to live and deal with Pakistan. But how? What are India's options?
Option 1: Seek Peace through Mollycoddling Pakistan
A small but vociferous segment is of the view that India, being a bigger nation, should act in a more generous manner to assure Pakistan of Indian sincerity in resolving contentious issues.
It suggests the demilitarisation of Siachen. As Pakistan has no presence on the glacier, demilitarisation implies 'unilateral vacation of Siachen by India.'
It is felt that such a gesture will bring about a reduction in Pakistan's hostility towards India.
Some go to the extent of suggesting that India should resolve the Kashmir tangle to Pak satisfaction.
Similar arguments are put forward by the enthusiasts of Track-II diplomacy and initiatives like 'Aman Ki Asha.'
Advocates of this soft option are those influential Indians who have been cultivated by Pakistan through what is commonly referred to as 'biryani diplomacy.' They are frequently taken on fully paid trips, ostensibly for seminars and group discussions. Lavish hospitality generates bonhomie. Soon, they start echoing the Pak stance to mislead the Indian public.
Many advocate stronger cultural ties with Pakistan. Shah Rukh Khan feels 'Politics between the two countries should be handled by the politicians... creative people have nothing to do with it.'
Sunil Gavaskar is of the view that recommencement of India-Pakistan matches will help better relations. He does not want sports to be mixed with politics.
Sponsors of Ghulam Ali's concerts claim that music has no boundaries.
Sadly, they forget that Pakistan is waging a war against India and killing Indians. It is not playing any politics.
Over the last seven decades India has taken various initiatives to make Pakistan see the benefits of a rancour-free relationship.
Every Indian prime minister has made liberal conciliatory gestures.
The Ceasefire in 1948.
The return of the Haji Pir Pass in 1965.
The repatriation of 93,000 PoWs under the Simla Agreement in 1971.
Granting Most Favoured Nation status are some of them.
While the Indian leadership was trying to break thew ice through 'bus diplomacy' in February 1999, the Pakistani military was busy planning the notorious Kargil incursion.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's out-of-the-box gesture of birthday stop-over at Lahore was followed by a fierce terrorist strike at the Pathankot airfield.
Disappointingly, Pakistan remains incorrigible as a devious and cunning neighbour.
Expecting a change of heart is nothing but self-delusion.
Issues like Kashmir and Siachen are merely a manifestation of Pakistan's infinite hostility towards India.
Were India to hand over Kashmir to it on a platter and withdraw from Siachen, Pakistan will invent newer issues to keep the pot boiling.
Option 2: Persist with the Current Policy
An influential section of the India intelligentsia wants the current policy to continue. It finds no need for change.
An editorial in a leading Indian daily newspaper read, 'Since 1990 India has had a consistent policy towards Pakistan: Let them hit us with whatever they can, we will harden our defences but not retaliate in kind.' According to the editor, the said policy has been 'remarkably successful.'
Since 1990, Kashmir has seen a loss of nearly 50,000 lives, including civilians and security/police personnel.
Indian security forces have captured a huge cache of Pakistan supplied weapons from the terrorists in the last 15 years. It includes more than 34,000 AK-47 rifles, 5,000 grenade launchers, 90 machine guns, 12,000 revolvers, 350 missile launchers, 100,000 grenades and 63,000 kg explosive.
Even anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns have been seized.
Continuance of the current policy of enduring Pakistani aggression without riposte is proving highly expensive in human lives and expenditure.
India's over-indulgence and conciliatory gestures have emboldened Pakistan into considering India to be a soft State. It has increased its intransigence and hardened its anti-India attitude.
Option 3: Isolate and Disintegrate Pakistan
Devious countries like Pakistan do not believe in international conventions and shamelessly flout them. The only language they understand is of strength and retribution.
In the short term, India must make it amply clear to the Pakistan government that every anti-India mischief would invite immediate reprisal and that no transgression will go unpunished.
In addition, diplomatic relations should be downgraded. All concessions like MFN should be withdrawn. Rail and road contacts should be suspended.
There can be no cultural ties with a country that wages war against India.
India's long term objective should be to isolate Pakistan internationally and trigger its disintegration.
Isolation of Pakistan will not pose a major challenge.
Pakistan has already acquired notoriety as the prime breeding ground of terrorism in the world. Pakistanis are looked at with suspicion the world over. Consequently, most hide their true identity and pretend to be from India.
A proactive policy should be followed to make friends with the countries who feel threatened by the growth of terrorism in Pakistan.
Leveraging its enormous economic clout, India must make it clear to the world that any nation that supports Pakistan's anti-Indian policies cannot claim to be India's friend.
Using its formidable influence, India should have Pakistan expelled from the cricketing world.
If South Africa could be debarred for apartheid, why should Pakistan not be banned for promoting terrorism? As cricket is a national obsession, it will hit Pakistani psyche hard.
Raising the Balochistan issue was a master stroke and a game changer.
If Pakistan can cultivate a Kashmiri separatist constituency within India, India can cultivate a separatist Baloch constituency in Pakistan.
If Pakistan can dedicate its Independence Day to Kashmir, India can dedicate its Independence Day to Balochistan, Gilgit, Baltistan, and Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
Expectedly, the world at large has displayed great understanding of India's stand. Not a single country has faulted India for its statement on Balochistan.
India should also support independence of other provinces like Sind. Pakistan must be splintered into as many countries as possible. The aim should be to reduce Pakistan to its current Punjab province.
Peace is a two-way process. Both parties have to desire it. India cannot be friends unilaterally while Pakistan pursues a path of vicious hostility.
Pakistan was created on the ideology that the 'pure' cannot coexist with the infidel; it is naive to expect Pakistan to have a change of heart.
If Pakistan adopts a conciliatory stance, it would amount to negating the two-nation theory, the raison d'etre for its very creation.
It is time India stops living in a fool's paradise.
Pakistan will always be a devious and cunning neighbour. It should never be forgotten that deceit, betrayal, duplicity and perfidy are synonymous with Pakistan. Therefore, it will be in India's interests to reconcile to an antagonistic Pakistan and tailor its approach accordingly.
In world affairs, timidity is considered a sign of impotence, and not sagacity.
Rogue States like Pakistan only understand the language of retribution.
Having failed to make Pakistan see the benefits of a rancour-free relationship, India has no reason to be apologetic.
India should stop claiming that a united Pakistan is in India's interests. There cannot be a more blinkered view. Pakistan's break-up is a necessity for peace and progress in the region.
Surgery is generally considered to be ultimate course of treatment for fatal tumours. Malignancy-afflicted Pakistan is no exception.
India must help trigger the required implosion.
IMAGE: Indian soldiers at base camp after returning from training on the Siachen Glacier. Photograph: Reuters