When India and Pakistan shake hands

June 16, 2009

As encounters go between the leaders of India and Pakistan, the meeting in Russia between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Asif Ali Zardari — their first since last November’s Mumbai attacks — was a somewhat stolid affair.

It had none of the unscripted drama of the handshake famously offered by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee when they met at a South Asian summit in Kathmandu in January 2002, while the two countries mobilised for war following an attack on the Indian parliament in December 2001. Musharraf’s gesture made little difference in a military stand-off which continued for another six months.

Nor did it carry the warmth of a summit meeting between Vajpayee and then prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Lahore in 1999, which raised high hopes of a breakthrough peace deal between India and Pakistan. Those hopes were dashed months later when the two countries fought a bitter conflict in the mountains above Kargil, on the Line of Control dividing disputed Kashmir.

But for all its absence of drama, or more precisely because of this, did the meeting between Singh and Zardari lay a more solid foundation for what is likely to be a long and difficult process of repairing relations

The two leaders stopped well short of resuming a formal peace process broken off by India following the Mumbai attacks, and Singh delivered a stern warning to Zardari that Pakistan must not allow militants to operate from its territory. “I am happy to meet you, but my mandate is to tell you that the territory of Pakistan must not be used for terrorism,” he told Zardari at a meeting on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Yekaterinburg, in Russia.

But officials nonetheless held out the prospect of another meeting between Zardari and Singh at a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Egypt in July and said that senior officials would hold further talks to exchange information on terrorism. Semantics aside, that means the two countries are talking again after a deep crisis in relations following the Mumbai attacks, although India has insisted it will not reopen the so-called composite dialogue peace process until Pakistan takes action against the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group it blames for the assault.

So where do they go from here?  Analysts see little hope for now of the two countries being able to pick up where they left off in a peace process which some say had nearly led to a breakthrough on Kashmir. 

But there is increasing debate about how the two countries might improve the way they engage with each other to get out of the on-again, off-again turbulent peace process which has failed to deliver a settlement in more than 60 years

And that is where the Yekaterinburg meeting — stolid, cautious and lacking in drama — might prove to be a turning point.

“Mr. Singh is trying to set out a coherent Pakistan policy,” former Indian ambassador G. Parthasarathy wrote in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. “To resume the formal dialogue process, careful preparatory work behind the scenes would be necessary.”

“As we learn from the recent past and look ahead, India must reconsider three core assumptions about the peace process. The first is the belief that we are negotiating with a coherent entity that is capable of making rational choices. Whether we should engage Pakistan or not is a question that makes sense only if treat our western neighbour as a black box,” wrote Indian strategic analyst C. Raja Mohan in the Indian Express.

“New Delhi must instead recognise the enormous internal divergence in Pakistan towards India and develop an approach that helps reasonable voices across the border prevail over the incurably hostile ones,” he wrote. ”In short, the very purpose of our engagement must be to produce a systemic change in Pakistan. It stands to reason then that we must not suspend the engagement every time India’s adversaries put up an obstacle.”

 Signs of a new and more methodical approach that might yield results for people in both countries seeking peace?  Or too slow and too cautious for Pakistan’s civilian government, which would like to see an early breakthrough to ease tensions on its eastern border as it tries to beat back Taliban militants on its western border with Afghanistan?

(Photos: President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajapayee shake hands in Kathmandu, January 2002; Vajpayee meets Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at Lahore summit in 1999; Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Asif Ali Zardari in Yekaterinburg, 2009)

Comments

Myra,

Peace is absolutely necessary. The root cause of the animosity is religious hatred, hatred caused on many levels for many reasons, which have all been discussed too many times.

Therefore the most basic approach must be taken first before peace can begin. The Pakistani establishment must first remove ALL forms of hateful literature from Kindergarden to Grade School to Madrassas and Military Cadet Training Manuals. Institutionalized racism is taught to very young children early on and this must end.

Hatred must be discarded in Pakistan as a tool for unity.

The children’s thoughts today, form the basis of the type of adults that run the future society.

Before India can open itself up to serious dialogue, the proxy armies on the Eastern Side of Pakistan, must be completely disbanded and destroyed. Those elements of religious based terrror on Pakistani soil must be rid of, before India even thinks of drawing down its army size in Kashmir and discussing a larger, broader increase in its relationship. Pakistan often brags about the might of its 700,000 military, but it stays impotently quiet and complicit while proxy armies and their leaders call for “death to India” in open air rallies in Kashmir.

Also, Pakistan must cease all Anti Afghan and Anti India activities only then will it be seen by all as credible.

A basis for peace must be set though, Pakistan must lead in ALL peace initiatives and in the words of Manmohan Singh, “India will not be lacking” and will always give more than 50% in return.

With regards to the coherence of the divergent voices in Pakistan, that will take time, the younger newer generation will have to decide that they do not want to inherit the hatreds of their forefathers.

In otherwords, the young will have to have somewhat of a social revolution within Pakistan itself, just like that is happening in Iran today, before a credible peace is offered by Pakistan to any country.

At first, Pakistan must become at peace within itself and become coherent and that will only be done by tough leadership that supports a strong civilian democracy, pluralism, secularity and a freedom of speech. Times have changed and if a social revolution cannot happen, Pakistan will get left behind and India and Pakistan will become far too apart to be able to discuss peace in a realistic and sensible manner.

It is time that the Pak Army becomes an honest broker of peace and put its money where its mouth is and clean up the Let, JuD and HuM and arrest all firebrand clerics.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Singh had to meet with Zardari because he could not afford not to. For all the trouble going on in Pakistan, it can still inflict an unacceptable amount of damage on India. If Pakistan were to attack India for real, India will turn in the a basketcase for the next century.

Posted by Jatin | Report as abusive
 

Myra,

1) Signs of a new and more methodical approach that might yield results for people in both countries seeking peace?

- Hopefully, yes.

2) Or too slow and too cautious for Pakistan’s civilian government?

- Maybe, yes. But, any country, especially India, has to be cautious while negotiating with Pakistan. Based on experience in the last decade, India has learnt that peace talks with Pak leaders mean nothing if Pak generals are not on board.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

Just one word comes to mind when I see Nawaz sharif’s picture “BACKSTABBERS”.

Posted by indian1127 | Report as abusive
 

Nothing will ever come from this meeting. It will the same as all the previous ones.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive
 

It was a greatest mistake we have ever made to separate the country. As I am grand son of Muwllana Mohamed Masim Khalisdar, founding member of Muslim league and son of Shamsul Islam Khalisdar the founding member of Pakistan, I know from my heart and mind we put Muslim ummah 100 years behind just by creating Pakistan. It was worse thing has done in the history. Last 60 years, Pakistan gave nothing to the world except hatred, bloodshed, foreign aid, violence, terrorism, sectarian hatred and so on. good luck Pakistan

 

The talks will fail as usual.

There is no point in talking from a point where both the sides are not budging from the view point they hold.

Pakistan aims to separate Kashmir out from India while India believes Kashmir is Indian Territory.

In current situation how can talks guarantee peace between two countries who are not in a position to go for open fight and settle issues.

Pakistan will continue to sponsor terrorism. India will keep witnessing killing of citizens and defense forces.

The present talks have been directed by western powers for their interests.

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive
 

In spite of all sincere efforts of our ex and present prime ministers to have a confidene building meausres, every attempt from our side , has gone to drains. When ever there was a meeting between the Indian P.M., and thePakistan counter part or President of that country, within few months of that meeting, Pakistan Army waged a war of different intensity aginst India at our Kashmir border. That means, there is no single and unique government in Pakistan at any point of time. Civilian Government presence is eyewash to the outside world to get aid both financial and military from USA and Europe. And the Pakistan army rules behind the curtains, where neither the public nor the political leadership has any saying in it’s administration. The Pakistani public are mere spectators to watch the irresponsible , irrational deeds done against India by Pakistan Army. When ever there is internal turmoil in Pakistan , the only immediate paliative remedy for the internal unrest is to wage a war against India. Pakistan has become a pawn in the hands of USA and Western countries , it does not hve it’s own foreign policies , or no vision about its’s economic development, only policy it has to serve the interest of the USA in central Asia , and China to counter India’s development. The day the common Pakistan starts thinking about him and his country instead of leaving it to Pakistan army, we Indians can expect there wil ba meaningful dialogue with that Pakistan Government. Mere religious hatred created against India has landed them in irreversible damage to that country . Pakistan Army has to realise and accept that Kashmir is an integral part of India , and their poking in the affaris of India either through direct war or through proxy war by militant outfits not only in Kashmir but else where in India would never serve any purpose in trying to have a dialogue with India to reduce the tension. The cause for the tension between India and Pakstan is “Pakistan’s support both in terms of military training , supplying with arms, money and logistics to wage a war against India by militants in the name of religion. Their proxy war against India will not serve any useful purpose of having a dialogue with India. If Pakistan continues to encourage Taliban, Al-quida against Afghanistan,and all other muslim fundamentalist and militant groups working against Indian, thinking it would certainly serve it’s vision, it is every body’s knowledge what is really going on at the moment at it’s Northern frontiers. If the political leaders are sincere there, judges like Ifthakar choudary’s active partcipation in their nation’s build up, with a “Constructive and Progressive ; non Anti-India policy” Vision, Pakistan would certainly a single country, otherwise, the result is different , as they had experienced already once.

 

The general tone of western media reporting and that of authors like this one, is such that there is a tiny group of extremists in Pakistan, and the Pakistan state and its people are with the rest of the civilized world in fighting religious terrorism. This is sheer fallacy of gargantuan proportion.

Pakistan state (read Pakistan army which owns the state) merely considers “war on terror” as a money making tool, to milk the US/west and the rest of the world. There is no future prospects for any other industrial development in Pakistan, but the “terrorism industry” is very rewarding for Pakistan and it is reaping a windfall of billions of US tax dollars.

It is a huge lie to claim ordinary people in Pakistan are against terrorism, etc. Specifically, they are against terrorism in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi. Not in Mumbai,Delhi, Kabul, New York or London!

For decades, the so called “moderate” “ordinary” Paks egged on, cheered on Pak terrorism in India and elsewhere and vigorously claimed they had nothing to do with it.

What you sow, what you reap. Even though Pakistan is reaping the bitter harvest, it still hasn’t abandoned the desire to use terrorism as an instrument of state policy.

Only naive people will buy Pak line on due process of law on the release of Lashkar terrorist Sayeed. Paks talking about independent judiciary, due process of law, etc is like Osama Bin Laden hitting the lecture circuit to give talks on World Peace and Meditation.

Lashkar-e-taiba is the jihadi terrorist wing of Pakistan army, 100% under the control of Pak army. To the extent, Pak army sought the help of LeT to defend positions in the Kargil war.

India should focus on economic development as it is doing. “Dialogue” with Pakistan is for international consumption. India should dramatically escalate the cost Pakistan pays for terrorism in India. Keep the powder dry, increase and improve surveillance.

Don’t ever assume pak* brain can abandon terrorism as a state policy!

 

Myra:

@Signs of a new and more methodical approach that might yield results for people in both countries seeking peace?
–Will have to wait to see the effect of Singh-Zardari meeting on Pakistani civil/military brain. The idea is not to break the dialogue but keep up the pressure. The times have changed and Pakistan is slowly putting itself under pressure to act against anti-India terrorists.

@Or too slow and too cautious for Pakistan’s civilian government, which would like to see an early breakthrough to ease tensions on its eastern border as it tries to beat back Taliban militants on its western border with Afghanistan?
-There are 3 issues: #1. Terrorism against India–Indian wish #2. alleged brutalities by Indian Army in Kashmir–Kashmiri wish #3. Indian troops on LoC that serves as an excuse for Pakistan to not move its troops to its West border–US’s wish. All #1-3 are in Pakistan’s interests.

India wants #1 to be taken care of as PM expressed in Russia. #2 for the interests of kashmiri who feel there is a huge troop/civilian ratio, Indian govt is already thinking along decreasing the Indian troops from the towns. This is for Kashmiris.

http://pdmin.coe-dmha.org/apdr/index.cfm  ?action=process3&Sub_ID=99&news=27081&p ubDate=2009-06-12%2000%3A00%3A00.0

“Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram did not give a date for the withdrawal, but said the government wants local and state police to take over security responsibilities in inhabited areas, while federal forces continue to patrol border areas where insurgents are still active, the BBC reported. Chidambaram said the decision to move the troops came as militant violence within IcK has dropped while insurgent infiltrations from neighboring Pakistan-controlled Kashmir (PcK) have continued, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).”

#3. It will take both Indian and Pakistani sides to demilitarize both sides of LoC or reduce the numbers. Pakistan also has to move its non-uniformed army (the terrorists) somewhere or throw them in the gas chambers. This is linked with #1 and will happen.

So obviously this has to be slow and methodical. Else the vacuum created by Indian troops will suck in the terrorists form POK. US knows very well how hard it is to tackle terrorists and Obama better start looking through Indian eyes also. Historically, Kashmir has been attacked by Pakistan several times and India is genuinely concerned and is hesitant to move troops.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Mullah Shahin,
Thank you for you comments.

Dont you think partition of India (no matter how unpleasent it was) has actually been a boon to India?

As a current generation of Indians I can only express my gratitude to your forefathers.

My generation is sick and tired of listening about Hindutva or Muslim ummah, all we care about is Indians and Humanity.

Posted by indian1127 | Report as abusive
 

Myra

There seems to be a lot of change in last few years, last time when there was an attack on Indian parliament (2001) it resulted in a serious escalation which could have led to war. This time (Mumbai 2008) another attempt was made to sabotage the peace process but it did not succeed.Now both countries have an opportunity to build on the composite dialogue which was suspended in 2007-08.
Pakistan has suffered at the hands of same terrorists since 2007 specially and wants to bring them to accountability. This is where the opportunity lies for India. If India can forge a relationship with the positive forces inside Pakistan (both military and political) and work to resolve disputed matters, relations will improve.
India must look at the internal dynamics of Pakistan, the struggle Pakistan is doing against terrorist elements who have challenged the state of Pakistan and perpetrated terrorism on innocent common people. These are the common enemies of India and Pakistan. If both nations can resolve differences and find common ground to work for mutual interest it will benefit both. Since both are nuclear powers, India knows it cannot destroy Pakistan and Pakistan knows it has to live with India. I think it must only improve from here.

I dont think this time negotiaitons will be futile and the situation is hopeless simply because the stake is higher than ever. For Pakistan, its very existence is at stake, for India its ambitions are at stake as a global player. If there is instability in the region both nations will not achieve their desired objectives. The issue of terrorism binds both countries in a unique way, and as a refernce to Pakistan Army’s doctrine, honorable negotiations are a way to follow to forge lasting peace, and islamic concept is, that enemies need not to be permanent. I am sure the government of Pakistan, which was elected by common people will also have same doctrine.

your questions:

” Signs of a new and more methodical approach that might yield results for people in both countries seeking peace? ”
-Definitely YES. India also knows it has to start dialogue with Pakistan at some point. Indian leadership knows it has to resolve matters with Pakistan in its own interest. So does a sense prevail in Pakistan that a confrontation with India will prove costly at a time when more social development is needed on urgent basis to put the country on right track. The conditions on ground are there to ensure a meaningful dialogue process resulting in improvement of relations and benefit of common people on both sides. The leaders need to make realization of this.

“Or too slow and too cautious for Pakistan’s civilian government, which would like to see an early breakthrough to ease tensions on its eastern border as it tries to beat back Taliban militants on its western border with Afghanistan?”

-Maybe. As the situation on Pakistan’s western borders grows more volatile Pakistan has an interest in bringing stability on eastern border. Pakistan’s internal stability is at stake more as compared to ‘threat of external aggression’ since Pakistan has ‘minimum credible detterence’. There should be a sense of urgency as far as Pakistan is concerned. Also notable is the fact that the geo-strategic situation and the situation on Pakistan’s western border means that Army now in Pakistan needs political backing to make decisions. For the first time in the history of Pakistan, things are changing. Gen. Kayani is one of the best soldiers Pakistan has, he has done the right things so far, restoring the image of Army, ordering it back to barracks and out of politics. These are all the positives. This gives civilian government more leverage in national matters in Pakistan.

The years since Musharraf and Vajpayee shook hands and now the hand shake between Mr Sing and Zardari have seen a lot of change.

Lastly, Common people on both sides need to express their views openly and reach out to enable a change in perceptions and reshaping of views.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Unfortunately even some Indians fall for pak lies, scam, and claim that pakistan is facing the common enemy in the fiight against terrorism.

As I said earlier, pak army is fighting the terrorists who are bombing Lahore and Islamabad. WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY running terrorist camps to produce more Kasabs in PoK and elsewhere.

Dr.Singh and the Indian Govt has to focus on where the next time Pak army is going to launch the next terrorist attack.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/42-op erational-terror-camps-in-Pak-PoK/articl eshow/4673319.cms

They have released the terrorist leader Sayeed, lying through the teeth Pak is establishing rule of the law!

As I said earlier, the fanatic suicidal Pak brain is geared towards hurting India at any cost, even if it means such actions could cause damage to itself.

One more bogus claim, which paks desperatlely cling to and which is also heavily promoted by Western interests, and some naive Indians is that Pak is undermining India’s effort to grow, become stronger as a global palyer.

MAY BE.

But the Paks offer no other choice, what else can India do. In the last 2 decades when the Pak escalated jihadi terror, EXACTLY in this time period India’s graph has shot upwards, pak’s has downwards.

 

Either, there is/are Pakistani(s) sitting at your censor/moderator desk or you cannot stomach anti-Pakistan/anti-Muslim opinion even when it is well-founded. In any case when one appends one’s name to it, are you trying to save the writer from himself/herself? Surely, you don’t expect a world war triggered by an individual’s opinion on blogosphere!!!

Posted by G.Din | Report as abusive
 

@Pakistan has suffered at the hands of same terrorists since 2007 specially and wants to bring them to accountability. This is where the opportunity lies for India.
-by Umair
@India must look at the internal dynamics of Pakistan, the struggle Pakistan is doing against terrorist elements who have challenged the state of Pakistan and perpetrated terrorism on innocent common people. These are the common enemies of India and Pakistan.”
-by Umair

Umair: So you are saying India and Pakistan are suffering at the hands of commin terrorists. Can you name specifically the terrorist organizations that the innocent unarmed citizens of India and Pakistan are victim of?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

If Pakistan destroys its proxy army camps, as Singh said” India will not be lacking”.

Peace overtures and peace goals must first come from Pakistan, since it is the sole perpetrator of terrorism, originating from its soil.

As Pakistan cleansup its proxy army camps and legitimizes the miscreants and non-state actors and put them into uniform with a proper rank and title, then the Indian citizens have no fears of terrorist attacks, because all of the terrorism problem from Pak. will have been cleaned up.

India is a country of 1.2 Billion, it seems absurd to me that India be the one chasing Pakistan to make peace, it is Pakistan’s responsibility to think and act responsibly first and India “will not be lacking”.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

It is quite odd how your views suddenly change with the shifting winds of the Pakistani Army, it seems you will go along and condone whatever they do, no matter how wrong.

In one breath you used to say that the PA will never take the Taliban on and now you welcome it. Now that Zardari and Singh are talking peace, you are showing warmth to it.

Independent worldly thought is lacking from you.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Rajeev
The terrorists who have created mayhem inside Pakistan recently belong to umbrella groups like the TTP(Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan) etc mostly based in the North West. These groups emerged after the US invasion of Afghanistan when insurgents were pushed into Pakistan’s tribal area from Afghanistan. Successive Pakistan Army operations in FATA resulted in emergence of these terrorist groups. Whereas Mumbai attack is blamed on LeT and you know that is a different story. This is according to what I learnt from Pakistani and foreign media.
Now I would like to clarify that while groups like TTP have not targeted India. But when i stated ‘Pakistan has suffered at the hands of same terrorists’ I actually meant that terrorists have no color, race, religion, identity, they know no boundary, they dont respect borders or recognize the state. That is why they are sometimes refered as ‘non-state actors’.
Lastly, I want to state that Pakistan has to certain extent managed to atleast gain some level of control over the situation. The root cause of the problem lies elsewhere, the world has a greater collective responsibility to eradicate terrorism. For Pakistan, it is ensuring terrorists dont get a foothold in the country and that Pakistani soil is not used for terror attacks against any other country,individual or group.

Last but not the least Rajeev, the idea is for both India and Pakistan to find common objectives. Unless there are common objectives to work together, there will always be competing interests. Both countries will continue to get into each others way, hindering each other’s progress.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

A useful analysis by Myra “Can Pakistan take on the Lashkar-e-Taiban?”

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/i dUSTRE55K0TO20090621

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

The word Karma is almost 7,000 years old, yet, it is lacking in your instruction manual(s), you can choose whichever one you think I mean. What it means is that what you sow, you reap and what bad things you do, have a consequence, a very real, believable and and perceivable one.

Pakistan is fighting the Taliban on the western front, yet foments, supplies, trains, nurtures, mentors proxy armies, ready to start a “COLD START” doctrine on India at the order of the Uniformed and corrupt Punjabi Mafia Junta running Pakistan.

You talk about common objectives, yet you continually dodge, or fail to acknowledge the proxy armies, this is what Singh wants, he wants them smashed, dismantled and to be no more.

This is Pakistan’s “Karma”. As your army insincerely lies and continues to grow and fuel proxy armies in Kashmir, “Karma” is taking a huge toll on your economy, the image of Pakistan and the Safety, and security of its people as they continue to get butchered and slaughtered.

We ask that the Pak Army please start to act responsiblity, turf your proxy armies and madrassa jihadi factories and then and only then we have a basis for peace between India and Pakistan.

Terrorism applies to BOTH sides of Pakistan. Insincerety will reap Karma. Please write that word down, contemplate its true meaning, and step back, far back and try to understand, what consequences mean.

Again, feel free to quit misslabelling terrorists as freedom fighters. We are ok, if you put your Azad terrrorists in Pak Uniforms, at least that would be honest terrorism.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Raj
Thank you for sharing the Times of India link which accuses of presence of terror camps inside Pakistan.

Please see below the link of Indian embassy website in Kabul, Afghanistan:
http://meakabul.nic.in/
Click on left tab ‘consulates’ Indian consulates are present in four cities : Mazar-i-Sharif, Herat, Kandhar, Jalalabad. ISI virtually knows every street and corner of these cities. ISI ran the whole show during Soviet occupation through Mujahideen. India is using its consulates as a diplomatic undercover and aiding Baluch sepratists (accusation we hear from ISI). When CIA deputy direcctor arrived in Islamabad with proof of (some ISI) involvement of Indian embassy in Kabul last year, he was confronted with Indian involvement proof in cooking up trouble in Baluchistan.

Now again, the west also knows India and Pakistan need to get in good terms to end this. President Obama repeatedly says that both India and Pakistan are the friends of US and both need to reduce tensions for a stable South Asia. When common people learn of these issues (the Indian consulates/the alleged terror camps) etc. It does not help in creating peace, in reshaping public opinion and policy making.

Can you just answer me why on earth does India needs a consulate in Kandahar for instance? There are almost 2500 Canadian troops mostly stationed in Kandahar, its a volatile region. The area is former Taliban stronghold, now an Indian consulate over there, where an Indian Airlines plane was also hijacked and parked during Taliban regime. All this doesnt sound right, does it? I dont expect any one from that area would apply for an Indian visa (student/medical etc).

Probably some of the diplomats are undercover RAW agents supplying weapons to Baluch insurgents? maybe not.
Maybe their are terror camps inside Pakistan, Pakistani Kashmir, maybe not. It sounds tricky.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

@Umair
“The root cause of the problem lies elsewhere, the world has a greater collective responsibility to eradicate terrorism. For Pakistan, it is ensuring terrorists dont get a foothold in the country and that Pakistani soil is not used for terror attacks against any other country,individual or group.”
-Yes TTP is Pakistan’s tool against India and now Pak’s enemy as we speak. Per se TTP did not attack India but India recognizes them terrorists even before you did that, but reverse is not true. India’s worry is LeT and its splinter groups, and JeM and HuM. Pakistan right now is not interested to call them terrorists. Read Myra’s analysis that I posted. So calling India and Pakistan have common terroists is the “presidential” way to put it and let us leave it to them. Us bloggers should spaek our mind and last time I asked you, you did not recognize LeT as terrorist. So where is the common enemy here? BTw, it is time to cut this “non-state actors” crap. whom are we deceiving?

@Last but not the least Rajeev, the idea is for both India and Pakistan to find common objectives. Unless there are common objectives to work together, there will always be competing interests. Both countries will continue to get into each others way, hindering each other’s progress.”

-India and China are successfully partnering in economing growth, despite the existing disputes. So why not Pakistan?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Until there is sustained engagement leading to a resolution of Kashmir issue to the satisfaction of all parties, it can be predicted there will be more attacks like the Mumbai and parliament attacks, even if Pakistan government tries to crush LeT and other Kashmiri support groups in Pakistan. Radicalization will intensify on both sides of the border, making a nuclear confrontation a real possibility. As Stephen Cohen recently said, “Not a few Indian generals and strategists have told me that if only America would strip Pakistan of its nuclear weapons then the Indian army could destroy the Pakistan army and the whole thing would be over. This of course is both silly and dangerous—and could lead to a catastrophic misjudgment when the fifth India-Pakistan crisis does come. We were close to one last year, I have no doubt that the people who tried to trigger a new India-Pakistan war will try again.”

I hope the “New Delhi’s institutional inertia against Kashmir talks” as Japanese journalist/analyst Yoichi Shimatsu puts it will not lead to mutually assured destruction in the Subcontinent.

 

Umair: I will be damn surprised and unhappy if RAW agents are absent in Afghanistan. They will be there for defense purposes to gather intelligence before ISI targets Indian embassy in Kabul. RAW was in Pak when ISI was targeting Punjab. That phase is over. Similarly ISI is all over in Bangladesh, SL and India. You don’t need embassies to field spies. But there is no evidence for the RAW’s disruptive activity in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Your inside information about evidence against India is useless in the absence of a single link—Now do not give me ISPR website—give some 3rd party evidence. Paranoia has no cure.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan has used terrorism backed with nuclear deterrence to leverage on India and to intimidate India. Neutral observers have noted that this Pakistani strategy has miserably failed.

India has grown stronger economically, and from a diplomatic, military standpoint. Besides the strategy has backfired on Pakistan since the country is unravelling internally.

Some in Pakistan still hope to use terrorism to influence India. And think this threat will still influence India’s conduct. These people are still living in fool’s paradise indeed.

 

Riaz Haq,

I wonder what inertia, in your words, does India display? In 1999, India kick-started the Indo-Pak peace process which is going on and off for last decade. Each time, some progress is made, the terror groups based in Pakistan scuttle it by attacking India. Remember Kargil, Indian Parliament attacks, and the recent Mumbai attacks?

The Pak elite and Pak military are responsible for the risk of destruction in the sub-continent. Unlike Pakistan’s strategy, India’s strategy in Kashmir is risk averse and devoid of military inputs. Pakistan has war-gamed many scenarios in Kashmir – including terrorism – has experimented with some, and has failed in every single attempt.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

The Obama administration has wisely realized that war on terror and US response as defined by Bush-Cheney is futile and the underlying causes of terror have to be dealt with through political/economic track (80% of the effort) along with a smaller military component (20%) as outlined by Patraeus. There are reports of dialog between Americans and the Taliban in Afghanistan, along with increase in economic/reconstruction aid on both sides of Pak-Afghan border.

But Indians are still stuck in the past and still continue to harp on the war on terror without paying much attention to dealing with the underlying cause of Kashmiri freedom that fuels anger and resentment against India.

That’s where India’s institutional inertia comes in. Unless New Delhi seriously engages in political dialog with Pakistanis and Kashmiris to resolve the underlying causes of terror, the groups such as LeT will continue to cause havoc and they’ll try and precipitate a full-scale war between India and Pakistan that could be a big disaster for both and lead to many unforeseen negative consequences for the region and the world.

 

Riaz Haq,

First, no one disputes, including India, that the Kashmir dispute has to be resolved through dialog. The difference lies in how the dispute will be resolved, how the control of the kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir will be shared and how many local political players will be involved in the talks.

Second, the LeT is not a Kashmiri movement. With Pakistanis, Arabs and Afghans in its cadre, the LeT was created by the murky Pak security establishment. LeT is based in Pakistan and continues to enjoy state support. There is little India can do if Pak runs with the hare and hunts with the hound. Unless such groups are not diluted, talks between India and Pak will continue to derail and mistrust will prevail.

Third, history has shown that Pakistan takes action against militants when it’s either sedated with billions of dollars in foreign aid or threatened to be taken back to Stone Age. Or, may be both! India, unlike the US, does not have the luxury to convince Pak with either of these tools of persuasion. India hopes that sanity will prevail among those who occupy the chairs of power in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

@Unless New Delhi seriously engages in political dialog with Pakistanis and Kashmiris to resolve the underlying causes of terror, the groups such as LeT will continue to cause havoc and they’ll try and precipitate a full-scale war between India and Pakistan that could be a big disaster for both and lead to many unforeseen negative consequences for the region and the world.
- Posted by Riaz Haq

Riaz Haq:

The above should read as:
“Unless New Delhi seriously engages in political dialog with Pakistanis and Kashmiris to resolve the underlying causes of terror, the groups such as LeT, SPONSORED BY PAKISTANI ARMY ISI/ARMY BY SIPHONING OFF THE FINANCIAL AID GIVEN BY THE WORLD FOR CIVIL DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS AND ANTI-TERROR ACTIVITY INTO BUILDING MILITARY INFRASTRUCTURE AIMED AT INDIA AND PRO-TERROR ACTOVITIES AIMED AT INDIA, will continue to cause havoc and they’ll try and precipitate a full-scale war between India and Pakistan that could be a big disaster for both and lead to many unforeseen negative consequences for the region and the world.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Myra,

I’d like to suggest a great book published on jihad in Kashmir. It’s written by a Pakistani scholar, Arif Jamal, who has interviewed thousands of mujahadins over the years. It shows how Pakistan, since 1947, has been using jihad as a state policy in Jammu and Kashmir. It’s an eye-opener and a must read for journalists and policy makers alike.

Here is the link to amazon:

http://www.amazon.ca/Shadow-War-Untold-S tory-Kashmir/dp/193363359X

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

If any one was wondering what one means by “using terrorism as an instrument of state policy”, Riaz Haq has clarified it for every one.

Jammu Kashmir state will remain an integra part of India. We’ll discuss with those living in the state within the frame work of Indian constituition. There is no need to discuss Kashmir with Punjabi terrorists.

If this is not satisfacotry to you and if you threaten you will sponsor more terrorism. We have bad news for you. We’ll make you pay for it..You are already paying a dear price.

On a side note did you address the “root cause of terror” in Swat valley? LOL!!

Today’s issue of Daily Times has an editorial on South Punjab turning into next Swat valley. Try addressing the root causes of terror in South Punjab.

 

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