Naivety of the Indian delegation can be seen from the fact that it allowed Pakistan to bluff its way through at Shimla. The Indian leadership was fooled into believing Pakistan’s sincerity. Unquestionably, Pakistan never intended to abide by its promises, both written and verbal. Fruits of a hard fought victory in the battlefield were frittered away on a negotiating table by bungling leadership.
The eight day long ordeal was over when India’s National Security Adviser brazenly announced that an agreement had been reached for the release of all the hostages in exchange for three Kashmiri militants including Maulana Masood Azhar. Sadly, the Prime Minister claimed credit for forcing the hijackers to climb down on their demands. The worst was yet to follow. India’s Foreign Minister decided to accompany the released militants to Kandahar, as if seeing off honoured guests.
Has India learnt any lesson? Unfortunately, none whatsoever. Even now, military leadership is consciously and willfully kept out of all decision making apparatus. Even issues that affect security of the nation are decided by the bureaucrats who do not possess even elementary knowledge of military matters. It is only in India that well connected retired bureaucrats are offered membership of the National Security Council (NSC) as a rehabilitation measure. Merit and expertise are of little consequence. Further, India is perhaps the only country in the world wherein NSC does not have a single military member. Bureaucrats and ex-police officers have made NSC their exclusive domain, thereby depriving the nation of expert military advice. Resultantly, recurring blunders will continue to cost the country dear.
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