New Delhi: When a state in all its senses condemns itself to barbarity, backwardness and failure, why should its large and sane neighbour bother and suffer for it? Sanity demands that the large neighbour which has overcome great odds to join the leading nations of the world defends itself from the suicidal, terror state. Unfortunately, that is not how India deals with Pakistan, which has shown its true colours, barely forty-eight hours after the two countries played national-level cricket after a long hiatus, by murdering and mutilating two Indian soldiers on the Indian side of the Line of Control. Pakistan has naturally denied the incident, and India is incensed, although if the past is a guide, it would be business-as-usual in a week’s time.

Particularly galling is that India should play cricket with Pakistan when Pakistan has not brought to justice the 26/11 terrorists led by Hafiz Mohammed Sayeed of the Lashkar-e-Toiba. The ruling Congress at the Centre is a corrupt and venal party of dalals and one of its dalal representatives in the greedy BCCI moved hell and earth to get the Pakistani cricket team to India. Much cash was presumably made in the deal which is par for the course for Congressmen. But the man whose silence on the Indo-Pak matches is most intriguing is Arun Jaitley who is one of the 2014 prime minister candidates for the Bharatiya Janata Party and a senior functionary of the BCCI. When the aforementioned Congress fixer who struts about in photo-opportunities with the prime minister was faced with attacks on the matches, he promptly named Jaitley as party to the decision, and of course Jaitley did not contradict him. This writer opposed the matches, nearly the only media person to do so. Now, Jaitley, after Tuesday’s incident, when Pakistani regulars beheaded an Indian jawan and slit another’s throat, suddenly finds his voice, saccharine with emotion, to say “red lines” must be drawn in dealings with Pakistan.

What about the cricket matches, Mr Jaitley?

Why did you allow them?

Didn’t those matches breach the red line?

This writer hasn’t the faintest interest in cricket, much less India-Pakistan cricket, more so the present game which has no soul. The Indian team resembles the Indian government, both being in a shambles. One is not a team and the other is scarcely a government. Nevertheless, cricket means a lot to Indian fans. So does it mean the world to Pakistan. Therefore, denying Pakistan Indian cricket, the pleasure of playing in India and defeating the Indian team, is both proper and appropriate so long Pakistan encourages state terrorism against India, whose most egregious example is 26/11. The point is not about cricket. Cricket is a symbol of much that India holds sacred. That symbol cannot be desecrated by inviting the Pakistanis over. Collective guilt applied to the Germans of Nazi Germany and to apartheid South Africa. Why shouldn’t it apply to all Pakistanis, including its players? The liberal media will howl in protest at this argument and comparison. No matter. India-Pakistan cricket should not have happened. It happened in large part because Arun Jaitley as a powerful opposition leader put his personal glory above the country. Will his pious condemnation bring to life the two murdered jawans?

Before you set out to contain a beast, you must know the nature of the beast. Beasts can never be contained by appeasement. Appease them and they swell powerful. The nature of the beast called Pakistan is intimately known to strategists who have persistently petitioned a succession of Indian governments to disengage from Pakistan. Pakistan is a lesser state, not the equal of India on any metric, and must be scorned and shunned. Pakistan is an abnormal state, a manic nation. It exists only to hate India and destroy it. Its sole identity is an anti-Indian identity. There is arguably nothing called a Pakistan identity. Pakistani Sunnis are killing Pakistani Shias. The Admadis and Ismailis face death or sanctions or both. Minorities are persecuted. The Punjabis, the Pathans, the Baluch and the Sindhis hate one another. Karachi resembles Beirut of the 1980s partitioned by sectarian madness. FATA is controlled by the jihadis who want a caliphate in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Pakistan military and intelligence establishment is packed with terrorists with close links to terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Toiba. Both the political class and the judiciary fight shy of taking on the terror establishment. Above all, there is the dominant Pakistani psyche that everything pre-Islamic and antedating August 1947 must be abused and disowned as a way to fuel the hatred and animosity towards India. Pakistan is a nation filled with loathing for this country, which starts with the books that small children read in schools. How can Indian engagement change the nature of the Pakistani beast?

Certainly, there are ways to contain Pakistan. It can be done, provided the appeasers on the Indian side are disempowered. The plea that Pakistan is a neighbour and must have to be engaged gives wings to defeatism and fatalism. Showing the other cheek to a bad neighbour will only get it slapped. Stop cricket. Name and shame the Track-2 conspirators. Wind up friendship shows at the Wagah Border, cease the Aman ki Asha campaigns, and lead the political Punjabis and Sindhis nostalgic about Pakistan into gentle obscurity. Then the steps to punish Pakistan will follow. Pakistan is a barbarous state. It must be dealt as such.