Split Pak Into Four? How’s That Supposed to Be Good for India?
That’s what retired Major Army General GD Bakshi said during a speech at IIT Madras. But it’s not that simple General saaab. Have you really considered the consequences if this were to happen?
First, massive bloodshed and civil war.
But you may say, “So what? Let them go after each other.” But in a civil war that would divide the Pakistan Army, who would control Pakistan’s nuclear missiles? Can General Bakshi guarantee that any one faction will not use a nuclear weapon? And if a nuke were to go off in Lahore, would Amritsar, just 40 km away, be spared?
Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Kashmir, Delhi could all be plunged into a catastrophic nuclear winter.
Okay, so somehow the nukes don’t go off, what about the instability that goes with partition and civil strife? Millions of angry, unemployed youth in these 4 new countries, most still thinking of India as the enemy.
And those who are not angry with us, millions of them are sure to cross over as refugees. Are we ready for that? The cost? The demographic impact? How’re Assam and Bengal dealing with that after Bangladesh?
And the nukes won’t just disappear. ‘Split Pakistan into four.’ Okay, so who gets the nukes? We won’t know who has them or how many? All we will be sure of is that whichever bunch of generals has Pakistan’s nukes are a bunch of generals angrier with India than ever before! Good luck with that!
And will a 4-way split end crossborder terrorism? No, it may just end up being 4 countries supporting crossborder terrorism against India.
Also, there’s Afghanistan. On the Af-Pak border, there’s the Taliban and now even ISIS. At the moment they’re Pakistan’s problem. Do we want them to be at our borders? No. I think having Pakistan as a buffer is a good thing.
And then, how about this: Our generation doesn’t want war — even proxy war — when it can be avoided. War costs money, resources and lives. It comes at the cost of progress.
And if we play a role in Pakistan’s partition, expect the world to be angry. Yup, the US too. Trade embargos. Technology embargos. Political isolation. It could all follow.
So, surprise, surprise, General — a stable Pakistan is actually good for India.
Your generation took a good call to help Bangladesh free itself from a country it didn’t want. My generation should take good calls too. And that means not splitting Pakistan into four.
What are we? Garam Dharam? Main tere tukde tukde kar doonga?
(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to TheQuint.com/WhatsApp and hit the Subscribe button.)