27 Oct 2012
New Delhi, India
Six big blasts in four cities within a span of 4 hours !” Indian PM was incredulous, ”What the hell is happening in Pakistan ?“
“Bomb blasts are least of their worries right now. More Pakistani civilians have died in riots that broke out after the blasts than the blasts themselves. More are dying even as we speak. “ Angad replied.
“Any idea who did this? Were all blasts planned by a single group” ? PM asked even though he knew the answer he'd get.
Angad shrugged, “ We are still analysing our intelligence reports. There are numerous suspects, but whoever did this, executed it really well. Unlike the attack on Paki President, no one has taken the responsibility for these attacks yet. “
“ I just hope that these guys have enough sense not to blame us for this.” DM remarked warily.
“ That's a feeling we both share.” PM murmured and lapsed into a moody silence.
“We've already issued an official statement condemning the bombings. But I have serious doubts whether it'll make any difference to these idiots. They'll blame everybody except themselves for all their troubles.” DM continued. “I'd like to put our forces on border on heightened state of alert, but I 'm sure that it'll be taken as a sign of aggression.”
“Only border ? I'd like to put all our security agencies on high alert. I'm willing to bet you anything that some Islamist nuts have already started planning terrorist strikes against us”. HM spoke to the nodding agreement of Angad.
“We can put state police and other internal security organisations on high alert without any problem but doing it on the international border is a different matter. Doing so will not only increase the tensions but also bring international pressure on us. Pakis have always exploited anti-Hindu, anti-India cards to divert attention from real issues since long and any such action on our part will surely provide them with an excuse to cause some mischief.”
“ Would you rather have similar terrorist attacks in our cities than take necessary actions to avoid them lest in offends Pakis ? ” HM asked testily.
“Our forces in J&K are always on high alert and BSF is guarding rest of IB in western sector fairly well. In current situation, maximum we can do is to increase size and frequency of patrols without making it public. Anything beyond this will be seen as unprovoked aggression on our part. Mobilisation of army in current situation is out of question. ” DM retorted.
This exchange was broken by buzzing of the intercom. Angad put the phone to his ear and without saying a word turned on the large LCD TV in room. All eyes in the room were turned to the news channel on which serving Pakistani Army Chief General Beg was reading his speech. He spoke of the recent bombings and subsequent riots and their effect on already precarious security situation in Pakistan. He went on to announce imposition of martial law, postponing of election pending better security conditions and his appointment as the country's military ruler until such conditions are achieved. War against Islamic terrorism was to continue without any change as per the requirements of his allies. He finished the speech asking for help from the international community in Pakistan's hour of need.
“Well, that changes something I guess. At least he had the fig leaf of a civilian regime before this. ” PM was first to break the silence.
“He didn't mention anything about mobilisation of army or reshuffling of top posts. I can't find anything in his speech that'll specifically change anything for us in near future.” DM observed.
“What about our peace talks ? We can't be seen negotiating for peace with a military dictator. “ PM asked in a worried voice.
DM rolled his eyes and was about to say something when he was interrupted by HM, “ You are still serious about that “peace talk” thing ?
PM replied in a surprised fashion, “ Why not ? Do we have a choice ?”
“ We can worry about “peace talks” later. Right now, we have a situation at hand that needs our immediate attention.” HM responded. “What do you think of it Angad ? “
“ One of many things that's worrying me is reaction of General Asgar. I don't think he'll take it easily. Beg didn't mention anything about him and we don't know what he is going to do. Unless Beg has offered him something substantial, he will not take it lying down. Specially when he has backing of Chinese. “
“What's the worse that could come of it ?”
“ An attempted coup followed by a bloody civil war is one thing that comes to the mind. ” DM replied glumly.
“ You mean Asgar trying to overthrow Beg ? But this is madness !” PM exclaimed.
“Well, we discussed something like that in our last meeting.”
DM looked towards HM before replying “ Seems like we'll have to put our forces on maximum alert now. No point in taking chances when Chinese and Pakis are involved. “
“What is your opinion Angad ? “ PM looked towards NSA chief hopefully.
“ I agree with Defence Minister. Not only Army, even Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard should be put on high alert . It'd be foolish to just guard IB after Mumbai attack.”
“ Very well then. Do whatever is necessary, but take every precaution to keep things under control. I don't want a possible nuclear war due to any misunderstanding. ”
DM allowed himself a smile, “ Don't worry, sir. We'll issue a press statement and send a dossier to assure everybody of our benign intentions.”