India Insight

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

India: should it take a gamble on Pakistan?

Some people in India are calling upon the new coalition government to make a series of bold moves towards Pakistan that will compel the neighbour to put its money where  the mouth is.

If Pakistan keeps saying that it cannot fully and single-mindedly go after militants on its northwest frontier and indeed increasingly within the heartland because of the threat it faces from India, then New Delhi must call its bluff, argued authors Nitin Pai and Sushant K. Singh in a recent piece for India's Mint newspaper.

How about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, back for a second term, giving a categorical public declaration that Pakistan need not fear an Indian military attack so long as the Pakistan army is engaged in fighting with Taliban militants?  While a verbal commitment may not convince the military brass in Rawalpindi, it will likely play well in Washington as it rathchets up pressure on the Pakistan army to take the battle to the militants.

Second and to back up its assurance, India could move some of the army strike formations from the international border with Pakistan in Punjab and Rajasthan. "Such a bold, strategic move will not only make India's verbal assurances credible, but it will also immediately result in irresistible pressure on the Pakistani army to commit more of its troops to the western border," the authors wrote in the Mint piece.

Clearly, the aim of such a peace gamble is to expose the contradiction within the Pakistani position, force them to either go full throttle after militant groups, some of whom are suspected to be tied to its intelligence agencies, or  face America's wrath.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Pakistan under siege: cricket becomes a target

"Everything is officially going to hell." The verdict of a reader quoted by All Things Pakistan said perhaps better than anyone else why the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore marked a defining moment in Pakistan's agonising descent into chaos.

Six Sri Lankan cricketers and their British assistant coach were wounded when gunmen attacked their bus as it drove under police escort to the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore.  Five policemen were killed.

The death toll was small by South Asian standards.  But what defined it -- beyond the audacity and apparent sophistication of the attack -- was the assault on the identity of a country where cricket, as in neighbouring India, is a national obsession.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

War clouds over South Asia

There is a strange dichotomy in Delhi at the moment. If you read the headlines or watch the news on television, India and Pakistan appear headed for confrontation - what form, what shape is obviously hard to tell but the rhetoric is getting more and more menacing each day.

Pakistan army chief General Ashfaq Kayani promised a matching response 'within minutes" were the Indians to carry out precision strikes against camps of militants inside Pakistan, whom it blames for the Mumbai attacks.

And as if they were doing a dress rehearsal, Pakistan Air Force jets have been flying over Islamabad and Lahore for the past two days, prompting one blogger  to report that some people had called up media outlets asking if the Indian Air Force was on its way.

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