Dealing with Pakistan â€“ Part 1 Pakistan is four nations stuck together by the glue of violent theocracy. The ironies spill over. Founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a Shia. Today Shias are slaughtered daily, especially in the seething cauldron that is Karachi. Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, Pakistanâ€™s first foreign minister and the first Pakistani President of the UN General Assembly, was an Ahmadi. He would be horrified at the way his people are being murdered in Pakistan â€“ with the full sanction of the law. In 1984, President General Zia-ul-Haq issued the anti-Ahmadiyya ordinance which forbade Ahmadis from calling themselves Muslims. Ever since Ahmadis have been the target of murderous assault by the Pakistani state and other fundamentalists. Of Pakistanâ€™s 188 million people, 105 million are Punjabis. Another 40 million are Sindhis and Mohajirs, 28 million Pashtuns and 7 million Baloch. Minorities, including Hindus and Christians, make up the rest. The Pakistani army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) are dominated by Punjabis. Most Pashtuns â€“ though not all â€“ have been co-opted. Sindhis retain their political base but their leaders are feudal, exemplified by the wealthy and corrupt Bhutto family. The Mojahirs â€“ Ã©migrÃ©s from India during partition â€“ continue to be marginalized and persecuted. The Pakistani Punjabi is an odd character. Rooted in an Indus civilizational culture, he has a split personality, hankering after an Arab-Persian-Turko ancestry that eludes him. But Pakistanâ€™s problems run deeper than ethnicity or demographics. In the 1960s, Pakistanâ€™s GDP was around 30% of Indiaâ€™s. Its per capita income was significantly higher than Indiaâ€™s. Today Pakistanâ€™s GDP ($250 billion) is barely 12% of Indiaâ€™s and its per capita income significantly lower. The gap is widening every year. Pakistanâ€™s stated ambition is parity with India: militarily, economically and geopolitically. Terrorism â€“ or death by a thousand cuts â€“ has been its modus operandi since the 1980s to achieve this objective. The Peshawar massacre changes nothing. Pakistan continues to train, fund and sponsor Punjab-based terrorist groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jammat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). It fights only the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban. The latter, Tehreek-e-Taliban (TeT), has sworn to uproot the Pakistani state and took responsibility for the Peshwar massacre. The Afghan Taliban has meanwhile battled the US and NATO in Afghanistan. Pakistan has, under severe US pressure, reluctantly launched a campaign against it. But the Punjab-based Pakistani terrorists (Hafiz Saeed, Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi, et al) remain pampered guests, used by the Pakistani army to launch terror attacks on India. By doing so, a psychotic nation that Pakistan has over the decades developed into hopes to reduce the â€œasymmetryâ€ â€“ economic, military and geopolitical â€“ that exists with India. Every time a terror attack â€“ or even an aborted attempt at one as in the case of the Pakistani vessel that blew up off Porbandar â€“ occurs, a counter-narrative emerges from Islamabad, faithfully mimicked by sections of the Indian media and former diplomats, bureaucrats and armed forces officers. This narrative tries to downplay such incidents and question the credibility of Indiaâ€™s security apparatus. Those who have a vested interest in Track-II or back channel talks are especially eager to draw an equivalence between India and Pakistan. There, of course, is no equivalence though Pakistan and its Indian ventriloquists strive to manufacture one. So what are Indiaâ€™s options? We canâ€™t change our neighbours but we can certainly change their delinquent behavior. The strategy must straddle four fronts: diplomatic pressure; economic sanctions; military action; and covert operations. The Modi government has signalled its intent by retaliating with force to Pakistanâ€™s mortar shelling across the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB). But the four-pronged strategy to deal effectively with Pakistan must go deeper and further. Both Afghanistan, following the NATO troop drawdown, and Balochistan, in deep ferment, have implications for Indiaâ€™s strategy. Afghans and Baloch have longstanding antipathies towards Pakistan and goodwill for India. Both must form part of Indiaâ€™s overall strategy to neutralize Pakistanâ€™s delinquent behavior. These measures must be practical, well thought-out and robust. Of that and more in part-2 of this article.