Major (retired) Gaurav Arya
Open letter to Pakistan Army chief General Raheel Sharif
I start by accepting that the difference in seniority between us would take a remarkably gifted physicist to fathom. You are a serving general, Chief of the Pakistan Army, no less. And I am an ex-Indian Army officer, a sometime company commander of Charlie Company, 17 Kumaon Regiment. Having tabled the obvious, I must now state what is on my mind.
We are adversaries, not enemies. Your enemies sit beside you. I would expect a soldier of your remarkable caliber and wisdom to understand this. It is not the divisions to your East that threaten you. It is the hordes to your West that will unravel the story of Pakistan. You are the most credible leader that Pakistan has had for a long time. That, Sir, is not much of a compliment but that is all that is factually available. We do not want war with you. Truth be told, the last thing we want is a war with you. But the Indian Army is not ornamental, as you may have noted to your detriment in 1948, 1965, 1971 and Kargil.
I do not know if India supports the secessionist movement in Balochistan. Company commanders in charge of a post and a few bunkers are normally not privy to such information. However, I hope we do. Do we fund the MQM? Not something that a person of my insignificance would know. However, I hope we do.
In the last 72 hours, we have lost our brothers (officers and other ranks) not to the terrorists whom you breed and train to give you strategic depth, but to their own extraordinary heroism. They could have put an 84 mm Carl Gustav HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) round into the buildings that were housing the terrorists. God knows, the Israelis and the Americans would have done so gladly. But that would have meant loss of innocent lives; something that our code of honour does not allow. So these brave young men took bullets to their chest. Just like that.
These games of brinksmanship that you think you are so adept at playing have started to backfire. The snakes that you bred in your backyard for biting India are now biting your own. They are killing your children in schools, your young in mosques and your people in their beds. And yet your obsession with India refuses to abate. You still do not realize that your snakes owe you no loyalty. It is in their nature to bite. They eat their own.
The Indian Army is willing and capable of extraordinary violence. We fight and we train. That’s all that we ever do. On 6 December 1971 you lost your elder brother, Maj. Rana Shabbir Sharif, Nishan-e-Haidar to an Indian army tank commander. I grieve for you. You lost half your country on 16 December 1971. I celebrate it.
Balochistan constitutes 44% of Pakistan’s landmass. Karachi contributes 20% to your GDP.
Sir, with the above-stated facts reiterated for your kind information, you may want to reconsider and re-evaluate your policies vis-à-vis India.
And if it is really war and martyrdom that you want, fight the good fight… man to man…face to face. Don’t hide behind brainwashed Lashkar terrorists, teenage stone throwers in downtown Srinagar and traitors from JNU. Maj. Rana Shabbir Sharif, Nishan-e-Haidar died fighting like an officer and a hero. Stop hiding behind facades. Make your brother proud.
We are waiting.
Maj. Gaurav Arya (Veteran)
17th Battalion, The Kumaon Regiment