New Delhi, Oct 31 : In Wing Commander (retd.) SK Sharmas debut fiction "Once There Was A Country Called Pakistan", released in the capital on Tuesday, the author imagines the South-Asian region witnessing a final and decisive war between India and Pakistan that results in the latters unification with India.
"When Pulwama transpired, it shook the entire nation and hit me hard. Everybody responded to that ghastly attack in his/her own way and my reaction was this book. Therefore, this work of fiction emerged out of that pain that came from losing so many Indian soldiers," said the author, while talking to IANS.
The book tries to figure out the many options available with India to deal with Pakistan.
Insisting that the situation in Pakistan was deteriorating with each passing day, and the country may witness another military coup, the author elaborates, "Their economy is at its lowest and the unemployment rate is alarmingly high. We all know the kind of influence the armed forces have in that country. The real danger is that that the state may disintegrate. Now if that happens and it falls in the hands of militia like the Taliban, we may have another Syria next door."
Stressing that in the past few decades, India did not really have a strategy in place when it comes to dealing with such contingencies, Sharma adds, "In a way, the book is a comprehensive plan to deal with Pakistan and bring peace in the sub-continent forever. Despite being fiction, it is very close to reality."
Stating that the book also talks about the kind of social changes required in India if we really want to become a five trillion dollar economy, the author spent more than a month researching before getting down to writing the book.
"I spent time in the USI library in Delhi for it was important for me to go deep into the various facets of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Balochistan, Iran and Turkmenistan and other countries that affect us before writing the book."
All set for his next book on the Partition of the country, Sharma says that writing 'Once There Was A Country Called Pakistan' was a lot of labour, and initially it was quite painful, but the outcome gave him much sense of achievement. "Now let's see how people receive it."
(Sukant Deepak can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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