New Delhi: India’s external security climate is rapidly deteriorating. Not only are the Chinese making regular incursions into Ladakh and other border sectors, the Pakistanis have carried out deep forays inside Indian territory. Earlier, Pakistani troops beheaded an Indian jawan and killed another. Yesterday, they murdered five more Indian soldiers.

The Manmohan Singh government cannot be expected to contain Pakistani and Chinese adventurism. Of all the political leaders on the horizon, this writer would unerringly pick Narendra Modi as the future prime minister who would teach both these countries a lesson. But because of the distinct certainty that Modi would be elected prime minister, no party other than the Bharatiya Janata Party wants early polls. And these derelict parties are determined to prop up a criminally-incompetent Congress-led United Progressive Alliance regime to suit their narrow political ends.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has no choice except to expose those parties through a campaign blitzkrieg that are shoring up the present regime against national interest. That is one part of the nationwide action that must begin soon. The second segment is exposure of the Manmohan Singh government’s abject failure on the foreign policy, military, economic and strategic fronts. Finally, the Bharatiya Janata Party must articulate its own policy and vision in these critical domains and present it to the nation. This should not be delayed any longer.

China and Pakistan necessarily have to be handled differently. Chinese incursions into Indian territories along the frontier with Tibet have ipso facto been authorized by the People’s Liberation Army central command in Beijing, after the approval of the political authorities. Border actions cannot be taken otherwise. Chinese tactics may be salami-slicing as some analysts have articulated or they could be testing India’s resolve, which is absent under the present regime. China must be made to understand that its incursions will be met by force, which only someone serious such as Narendra Modi would be able to convey to the Chinese.

Pakistan must be handled on a different plane. It is a rogue country. For all purposes, the Pakistan army and the intelligence services which protect the terrorist groups and project them into Indian territory are outside Pakistan government control. Elements in the government and in the political establishment may be mixed up with the terrorists but the control levers of terrorism lie exclusively with the Pakistan military. The Indian defence minister’s statement that terrorists in (deniable) Pakistan army uniforms massacred the Indian soldiers would be laughable if it did not constitute a damning indictment of the Manmohan Singh government.

Pakistan must be penalized for its terrorist actions. The Indian army knows how those penalties can be imposed. The broad philosophy is that the Pakistan army must be made to pay a price for terrorist action, and where escalation is necessary, it must be ordered. So far, Pakistan has been playing the escalation game, using its nuclear weapons to blackmail and terrorize India. India can play the same game. It is not necessary to detail the steps here and now. The military and the intelligence services know what to do. India would have to await Narendra Modi’s government to put Pakistan and China in their place.

But the macro-plans of that future government must be disseminated to the country as policy prescriptions to contain and rollback the threats from China and Pakistan. Prescriptions must also pertain to saving the economy. These will have two advantages. The voters will know what to expect from a future Narendra Modi government specific to the threats from India’s enemies and the broad policy solutions to return the country to the growth path. And the fear of exposure before the electorate will spur the Manmohan Singh government to act, because any and all means have to be employed to arrest India’s slide.

Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi have triggered and accelerated India’s decline. Rahul Gandhi, the Congress party’s prime minister candidate, has just exhibited another example of his abundant vacuity, saying “poverty exists in the mind”. Not one of Manmohan Singh and Sonia’s cabinet ministers give confidence, and the arrogant Palaniappan Chidambaram now vies for the status of India’s worst finance minister. This government must go. It is an albatross around our collective necks. But to the misfortune of the country, it will last its full term, thanks to the communal parties which back it fearing the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party and especially Narendra Modi. These parties that hold India to ransom must be shamed.