If a special operation in ‘hot pursuit’ of insurgents in the territory of another country needs absolute stealth on the ground, it requires tact and finesse of the same order at the diplomatic level. After all, the governments and security forces of the two countries involved have to be in complete accord and understanding. India and Myanmar have had agreements at the government and military levels for around two decades to deal with their common border long infested with many insurgent outfits. Similar tacit understanding with Bhutan resulted in ‘Operation All Clear’ in the early Nineties, throwing out many insurgent groups from the Himalayan kingdom. The Sheikh Hasi government of Bangladesh has displayed a steely maturity throughout with its ‘Push Back’ policy, which landed top militant leaders like Arabinda Rajkhowa and Ranjan Daimary in the custody of the Assam government. It would have been sufficient to acknowledge the latest counter-insurgency operation in Myanmar with a terse statement from the Indian government instead of ministers like Rajyavardhan Rathore, Prakash Javadekar and Manohar Parrikar to rush to the media with gung-ho statements. Their intemperate words only encouraged many private television channels to go overboard with a shameful exhibition of jingoistic chest thumping. This in turn prompted the Pakistani parliament to over-react by passing a resolution condemning ‘provocative statements by the Indian leadership’. One major reason why Pakistan has become a failed state is its policy of encouraging cross-border extremism, be it in Kashmir or Afghanistan. It is constantly haemorrhaging from the industry of terror it has itself promoted over the years. The Indian government and media has to make it clear ‘India is not Pakistan’ with a strong but restrained (if not silent) attitude.
Needless chest thumping