India not the enemy, U.S. tells Pakistan

April 6, 2009

Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reports from Washington that the United States is seeking fundamental change in Pakistan: it wants Pakistan, presumably the military most of all,  to stop thinking of India as the enemy.

And linked with this, it wants Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, accused of sponsoring militant groups to advance its security interests in the region, brought under effective civilian control.

Dawn says the Americans are offering Pakistan a new enemy as replacement : the militants operating along the border with Afghanistan who are increasingly striking deeper within Pakistan.

On Sunday a suicide bomber struck in a religious centre in Punjab kiling 22 people, continuing an expansion of the militant campaign into the heartland which seems to have gathered momentum over the past month.

Can it work? India as no longer the existential threat to its very identity as many in Pakistan believe?

U.S. envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke has begun a fresh trip to the region  this week that will also take him to New Delhi, and a report released by the Asia Society just before that trip suggests ways through which America can begin reshaping perceptions in Pakistan so that it feels less threatened by its bigger neighbour.

Holbrooke and National Security Adviser General James Jones were part of the task force that worked on the report “Back from the Brink: A strategy for stabilising Afghanistan and Pakistan” before they stepped down following their appointment in the Obama administration. A PDF of the report is here.

Very broadly it calls for addressing Pakistan’s security concerns on Afghanistan, Kashmir and nuclear weapons so that “it no longer requires the use of covertly supported guerrilla forces against neighbours.” 

The recommendations of the task force are: support dialogue between India and Paklstan so that they find a lasting solution to Kashmir, address Afghan-Pakistan disputes so that Afghanistan recognizes the Durand Line as the border between the two countries, and finally begin a dialogue with Pakistan over its nuclear  programme including perhaps recognising the reality of  its nuclear weapons.

But what about the mood over the border in India? Since the attacks in Mumbai blamed on the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, India has set its face against a resumption of dialogue that was in any case making fitful progress.

It is now in election mode, and if you follow the debate the mood has clearly hardened with the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party promising a more muscular Pakistan policy.

But by making Pakistan the overarching element of its security strategy and expecting India to play its part, is the United States  running the risk of ignoring the interests of New Delhi which not long ago was being celebrated as a strategic partner? Is it back to re-hyphenating india and Pakistan, as an Indian analyst here suggests?

[Reuters photo of protest in Lahore against a suicide bombing and U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke with Afghan President Hamid Karzai]

Comments

@Abid,

Please point out any comments made by any bloggers that are not true. You need not be stubborn and keep defending the undefendable. If there is a valid fact based gripe one has with Pakistan or India, they are free to speak their mind. If you feel numb or impotent to provide a good response, please don’t corner and resign yourself to call everybody here Pakistani bashing. Those are the words of a defeatist who has given up.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

@Global Watcher

You keep on Pakistan-bashing and claiming its all correct and we will continue defending Pakistan and claim its legitimate.

Returning to topic, Pakistanis view India as an enemy due to the 60 years of hostitility and the dispute over Kashmir. Interactions with Indians, such as on this forum, further reveal the hatred and viciousness which Indians have for Pakistan and Islam.

Thank God for the nukes to keep the Indians at bay.

 

Abid @Global Watcher

You keep on Pakistan-bashing and claiming its all correct and we will continue defending Pakistan and claim its legitimate.

Returning to topic, Pakistanis view India as an enemy due to the 60 years of hostitility and the dispute over Kashmir. Interactions with Indians, such as on this forum, further reveal the hatred and viciousness which Indians have for Pakistan and Islam.

Thank God for the nukes to keep the Indians at bay.

Abid..

As I said in my earlier post discussing with Umair, there can be no discussion on Kashmir until Pakistan reigns in its entire Terrorism Infrastructure, destroys it completely and transparently and Pakistan redefines itself outside a religious context. India needs Iron Clad safety and security guarantees. Indians are not terrorists, you don’t see Indians doing terrorism in the UK, it is all Pakistani’s and Pakistani Students on illegal VISA’s. You are speaking from a very weak position. Your nukes are not needed against India. India has never aggressed another nation since its entire history. Let’s be clear on that.

You have been brainwashed by your government, madrassas and to some extent by your loved ones to believe and fear the great and terrible green monster called India wants to annihilate Pakistan. India has never preemptively launched any attacks on Pakistan, nor has it ever staged proxy wars against Pakistan.

Be willing to step back and realize that what you have been fed your whole life as truth, may not be entirely as it has been told to you. If you can do that, you will opened up to a much larger reality of things.

You Pakistani’s I sometimes feel, are hell bent on hating India. Pakistan has many mistakes to admit and deal with, but prefers to keep its animosity with India, for a lack of a comprehensive policy to mend its ways for the future.

Please end your proxy armies and ISI sponsored terror on us, we just want to progress and live quiet peaceful and happy lives. Just go away.

So if Kashmir is “settled”, then what? Then the ISI will keep pushing further into India, while quietly claiming it as a victory, then the Jihadis will start to tear into Gujarat and the rest of India…For get it buddy. At present the way Pakistan the way it is, it is untrustworthy and not capable of negotiating honestly and in good faith.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

@Global Watcher

What you call terrorism in Kashmir, we and the Kashmiris call it a freedom struggle. If you want this armed struggle to end, withdraw the 500K Indian occupation army and apologize to the Kashmiris for 60 years of oppression, violence and rape of their women that you have inflicted upon them.

 

@Global Watcher
What you call terrorism in Kashmir, we and the Kashmiris call it a freedom struggle. If you want this armed struggle to end, withdraw the 500K Indian occupation army and apologize to the Kashmiris for 60 years of oppression, violence and rape of their women that you have inflicted upon them.
- Posted by Aamir Ali

–Dear Ali, if you care so much about Kashmiris (which you do not care anymore than you care about Balochis), ask for the merger of POK and Indian Kashmir and have that Kashmir in India—This will save you the burden of controlling your land too, which you are facing difficulty these days. This is what the progressive Kashmiris want. This will lead to pulling back of 500K Indian Army and Indian Hindus meeting their long-lost Kashmiri brothers. Say Yes for Kashmiris.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

@Rajeev

I am fine with a merged Kashmir with no military presence and open borders. The problem is India which knows the only reason the only reason it has control of Kashmir is the indian army. Hence India never agree to withdrawl of its criminal troops from Kashmir.

Regarding Balochis, the problem there is of British-created feudal system which gets money and arms from Afghanistan, through Indian consulates, and then commits sabotage and blackmail in Pakistan.

 

@I am fine with a merged Kashmir with no military presence and open borders. The problem is India which knows the only reason the only reason it has control of Kashmir is the indian army. Hence India never agree to withdrawl of its criminal troops from Kashmir.
- Posted by Aamir Ali

Aamir Ali, Before Kashmiri terrorism there was no Army/paramilitray force in Kashmir and that is the fact. 500,000 Hindus left Kashmir after Pakistan inititated this blood bath. Before you wrote check it/cross-check it (I can give you the link). kashmiris are in Indian Army fighting terrorism and proudly if you missed the news. I can give you the link.

@Regarding Balochis, the problem there is of British-created feudal system which gets money and arms from Afghanistan, through Indian consulates, and then commits sabotage and blackmail in Pakistan.
–Would you take a little effort to substantiate your allegation by some evidence? A Pakistani blogger tried his best to look for some evidence or some article on these conspiracy theories that ISPR creates and you are so hingry for them. I can give you US saying there is no evidence that India is helping any such element inside Pakistan.

I prefer if you have some thing to back up mere statements are useless.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

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