Amid Afghan gloom, a glimmer of hope on regional front

March 3, 2012

One of the comments you hear quite often about the long U.S. war in Afghanistan is that the Americans should leave it to the region to sort out its own problems. It is sometimes said in fear that the United States will abandon Afghanistan to civil war; sometimes in exasperation over its often confusing policies; and sometimes in anger. With the U.S. approach to Afghanistan in disarray after protests over the burning of copies of the Koran, regional powers are, however, attempting to do just that.  Progress, whether in the first meeting of a China-Pakistan-Afghanistan trilateral, or in improved trade relations between Pakistan and India, or in regional diplomacy led by Turkey and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation among others, is extremely tentative.  And regional powers, especially India and Pakistan, may yet end up backing opposing sides in any civil war which follows the withdrawal of most foreign combat troops at the end of 2014. But the fact that regional diplomacy is happening at all suggests there is at least some hope of salvaging the situation in Afghanistan.

China, whose help has long been sought by the administration of President Barack Obama to stabilise Afghanistan and Pakistan, hosted a meeting in Beijing at the end of last month in which the three countries pledged to support an Afghan-led process of reconciliation and to work together to accommodate each others’ concerns, a foreign ministry statement quoted by the China Daily said. “Analysts spoke highly of the significance of the dialogue,” the China Daily added, “which marked the beginning of new process for countries in the region to tackle problems by themselves.”

Given Pakistan’s own near-reverence for China, Beijing is in a strong position to encourage Islamabad/Rawalpindi to play a positive role. It has significant economic stakes in Afghanistan and Pakistan; it has shown impatience in the past if its own interests are threatened by militants, but does not have the same ideological opposition to Islamists  abroad, maintained, at least until recently, by the United States, prioritising stability above all. That makes it a potentially strong and pragmatic partner in helping to shepherd a political settlement

All that said, China remains wary of becoming over-involved, while its role is complicated by its rivalry with India. According to Andrew Small, an expert on China at The German Marshall Fund of the United States, speaking at the end of last year, “China wants to see a broadly stable, capable Afghanistan with a government that’s sympathetic to Chinese interests, or at least neutral. It wants to ensure that hostile powers and strategic competitors have a restricted role in the country. And it wants an environment that’s secure enough for its economic projects to move ahead.

“It is also concerned that it doesn’t get sucked into the problems there and that its involvement in the country doesn’t turn China into a target for militant groups. In practice, that has resulted in them putting a toe in the water with certain investments but otherwise sitting on their hands – neither actively cooperating with the West nor actively undermining it, and maintaining positive but not particularly deep relations with the current Afghan government.”

INDIA-PAKISTAN TRADE TIES

Meanwhile India and Pakistan embarked last year on what has been perhaps their most organised if slow attempt at peacemaking in their history, eschewing breakthrough summits and landmark agreements in favour of building ties incrementally, and in particular by focusing on increasing trade rather than on the issues of Kashmir and security that have crippled them in the past. That effort is beginning to bear fruit – albeit painfully slowly – with Pakistan effectively agreeing to grant India Most-Favoured Nation (MFN) status by the end of the year.

The move – Pakistan had previously refused to expand trade ties without progress on the Kashmir dispute – has been particularly welcomed in India which sees greater economic integration as a way of preventing the frequent and usually violent ruptures which have pockmarked relations in the past. In one of the most optimistic editorials, C. Raja Mohan at the Centre for Policy Research in India wrote that, “as Delhi and Islamabad stare at the tantalising possibility for a rare virtuous circle in their bilateral relations, it is time for (Indian Prime Minister Manmohan) Dr Singh to schedule his long overdue visit to Pakistan.” Vikram Sood, a former head of India’s Research and Intelligence Wing (R&AW), wrote that “we should temper our hopes with some realism”, while Singapore-based blogger and think-tanker Nitin Pai noted that “if the trade deal moves ahead and creates vested interests in its continuation, it might become difficult to roll back.”

In Pakistan, the welcome given to improving trade ties – encouraged by some of Pakistan’s biggest businesses – has been tempered by worries about how some sectors of its economy will stand up to competition from its much bigger neighbour, and by the criticism of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, an alliance of  anti-American and anti-India Islamist and militant groups which has been holding public rallies across the country since late last year.

ISTANBUL PROCESS

Of the other regional powers with a stake in Afghanistan, Russia has been working on building up the role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)  — which also includes China and Central Asia states. While supporting full membership for Pakistan of the SCO, Russia also has also been able to draw in India, with which it has ties which long predate their more recent association as BRIC economies. It was during an SCO meeting in Yekaterinburg, Russia in 2009that the leaders of India and Pakistan held their first talks since the November 2008 attack on Mumbai by Pakistan-based militants.

And Iran, which has the potential to act as a spoiler to U.S. plans in Afghanistan if there is any spillover of its nuclear dispute,  held its own trilateral meeting with Afghanistan and Pakistan in Islamabad last month.

Foreign ministers from countries involved in Afghanistan, including those with troops there and regional powers, will also meet in Kabul in June to follow up on the so-called Istanbul Process – a commitment to regional cooperation launched at an international conference in Turkey last year.

In short, the faultlines which led to Russia, Iran and India backing the then Northern Alliance in Afghanistan in a proxy war with Pakistan in the 1990s, are far more fluid today than they were then. And while the often tedious business of international diplomacy rarely makes headlines, it has some hope for success if nothing else but because all countries involved have an interest in Afghan stability.

U.S. ROLE

Now for the downside. Tempting as it might be for some to wish away U.S. involvement, its economic and political clout along with its big troop presence in Afghanistan, mean that whatever it does, any mis-step has the effect of a bull in china shop.  Fears of a rush for the exit only increase the risk of a civil war as different stakeholders prepare for the inevitable – India in particular is anxious that Afghanistan not be used as a base for anti-India militants; Pakistan is wary of finding itself encircled by Indian-backed forces on its western border and Indian troops on its eastern border.

And as U.S. writer and analyst Steve Coll said in this interview with Roland Paris at the Centre for International Policy Studies in Canada, any civil war could be even nastier than that of the 1990s, not least because the United States and its allies have also been building up a strong and well-armed Afghan National Army. “You have a potential proxy contest, fundamentally between India and Pakistan, but with other players, that also looks like it has kind of growth hormones in comparison with the 1990s,” Coll said. “The national resources that India would bring to bear are much greater than before; its motivation may be more ardent than in the 1990s.”

Yet equally fears the United States might go for a quick-fix deal with the Taliban that ignored the complexities of an Afghan settlement in order to achieve a dignified exit are just as likely to encourage preparations for a civil war if the Taliban’s opponents believed they were to be given too many concessions.

In one scenario described by Indian journalist Praveen Swami at The Hindu, quoting western and Indian diplomatic sources, the Taliban could look for an agreement which allowed its leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, to return as an Iran-style supreme religious leader, or “amir ul-mu’imineen”.  That idea has been around for a couple of years,  but would almost certainly be rejected by the Taliban’s opponents, particularly by the non-Pashtun elements of the former Northern Alliance. Praveen Swami  also wrote that a devolution of power could leave the Taliban in control of nine southern provinces in a fudged settlement.  

Add to that increasingly frequent references in the U.S. media to a soft partition of Afghanistan, allowing the United States to continue to run a counter-terrorism operation after 2014, and most stakeholders would be inclined to build up their weapons supplies and alliances in preparation for civil war. 

If it is to stop  speculation about a civil war from becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, the United States and its allies need to convince regional players that they will stick to their plans of gradually handing over control of security to Afghan forces but remaining committed to helping the country after 2014.  There would have to be a more visible political process to show that all Afghans, and not just the Taliban, will be included in any political settlement.

Washington would also need to stem the many fights within the Obama administration over Afghan policy which usually surface as leaks to the media, yet only confuse those outside the United States about its  intentions – a confusion amplified by the political debate in a presidential election year. And it would need to reassure suspicious regional powers,  particularly Russia and China, that it is on its way out rather than trying to build up a long-term military presence, while juggling its many other foreign policy challenges from the Middle East to Iran.

If it can do that, or some of it, the tentative progress on the regional front may offer a glimmer of hope.

(Reuters photo – Foreign ministers of Afghanistan and Pakistan at Istanbul conference on Afghanistan in November, 2011)

9 comments

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US is responsible for mobilizing mujaheddin jihadists to counter Soviets at the peak of cold war.Now contemplating quitting at any cost will leave the region in a bloody chaos & it amounts to betrayal.US might have secured its territory against direct terror attacks but its economic interests are still spread out across the globe.No nation can claim immunity from the effects of any kind of turmoil any where on the planet in the now globalized world.Immediate aftermath of US ‘untimely’ withdrawal will bolster the moral of the Kashmiri Islamists leading to the surge in jihadist violence in Kashmir & across rest of India.

Posted by LalitAmbardar | Report as abusive

Very good analysis Myra. There are many of us in India who long for a strong trade and cultural exchange between us and Pakistan. This exercise has never been allowed to take place. All one needs is time to run this exercise so that faith can develop on both sides. Unfortunately there are groups inside Pakistan which do not like this development at all. If Pakistan’s civilian government becomes stronger and clamps down on these elements, progress will happen for sure. The most important factor in settling this region is improvement in India-Pakistan relations. If that factor is not addressed, nothing will materialize in the region. China has begun to open up with India on trade relations. Sino-Indian relations have begun to gain momentum. If it sustains, mutual dependency will prevent any issues to stall that progress. China should focus on improving India-Pakistan relation first instead of using Pakistan as its proxy. It has already allowed Myanmar to thaw on its own. China is maturing. India and China have to learn to trust each other and that trust has to be spread to Pakistan as well. If India-Pakistan and China begin to resolve each other’s mutual mistrust and suspicions, the whole region will survive and Afghanistan has a chance to recover. Pakistan will need to abandon the Taliban and all the militant groups as its assets for this progress to materialize. The US still has the role of curtailing the elements that make up the Pakistani military which can derail any effort for its own purposes. It has done this over and over again in the past. The US done that successfully since 2009. And the results have begun to show. Pakistan is about to complete its first full term of the civilian government, corruption or not. Bilateral relations between India and Pakistan have improved tremendously despite the Mumbai attack set back. The US has the single role of keeping the villains under choke hold for a few more years. Everything will get a chance to grow and reach a stable state from which the chances of returning to the old ways will be diminished.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

That is a Nice post from Myra. I am happy that myra has conciously avoided landmine statements which has the potential to blow on the forum and stopped being judgemental and only trying to connect the dots. I would certainly have quite a few points to the unraveling situation in afghanistan and will post it shortly. However,
KP, I have read your post and lets hope our wish comes true and the only point I disagree with you in the above post of yours is this “The most important factor in settling this region (I hope afghanistan included) is improvement in India-Pakistan relations. If that factor is not addressed, nothing will materialize in the region”. This offers only a partial solution and if at all. KP, we both know that the reason of Pakistan’s insecurity regarding Afghanistan is the durand line problem not the India-Pakistan relations. Over the years, India with its diplomatic community has tried its best to push this viewpoint onto the diplomatic table of western nations headed by US.
Even if there is marked improvement in our relations, the problem of the stabilization of this region wont happen, unless Pakistan stops aiding Taliban for its political purposes.
The catch here is that, the more the Afganistan gets stable the more the nationalist government it will have and the move nationalist government the Afghan state has the more they resent the Pakistani interference through Pakistan trained Taliban. I really fear that the assimilation of Taliban in nationalist forces of Afghanistan is going to be very difficult. The reason being the old pushtoon tribes are slowly giving way to the pakistani trained Taliban pushtoons. Whether its haqqanis or the Pakistani Taliban are basically trained in Pakistani madrasas and with wahabi religious training funded by saudis. The expansionist taliban ideology will be an impediment to further improvement in Afghan-Pakistani relations. We will know the real bonhomie between Afghan and Pakistan once the Americans leave and the region gets embroiled in a civil war with each party trying to gain as much in their interests.
One also needs to think of the pessimistic scenario where pakistan might be betting the new found bonhomie between India-Pakistan as a buffer to counter the future effect of Afghan civil war.
If the relations between India and Pakistan improve beyond a point, a point never reached in India-Pakistan relations, then it becomes equally problamatic for India to fund the Anti-pushtoon groups of the impending civil war (which Afghan experts fear would happen if there is no systematic withdrawl of US forces) without completely cutting off relations with Pakistan, a dejavu scenario.
I have always advocated that the real test of India-Pakistan realations will come after 2014 when(or whenever) the Americans start leaving. If the Pakistani strategic experts don’t fall back to their old policies, then we have a genuine begginning.
The war on Terror has left Pakistan bankrupt and it realizes that the indirect costs of war were appreciably higher than the American aid. By 2014 any Pakistani administration that is ruling the country must face two critical problems. Fighting the “forces of establishment” intellectually to counter their views on Afghan policies.
And Ensuring a successful welfare state able to deliver growth and parellelly fighting a ideological battle against the extremists to create counter narrative of why the Pakistan as a nation needs good relations with India.
Myra has elequently put her view that if good relations between India-Pakistan could create a momentum to continue and strengthen the vested interests then its a good start.
The problem of Pushtoons is similiar to what India has with Tamils. The civil war in Sri Lanka had effected the psyche of Tamils in India to a point where LTTE was honoured as a national institution in India until Rajiv was assassinated. Slowly over the two decades India was able to assimilate Tamils more into Indian narrative that the continuing human right abuses of Tamils in Sri Lanks no longer makes news in TamilNadu (but we have at best partially succeeded in case of kashmir). Hope you got my point. Unless Pakistan creates a strong secular narrative and provides a platform of equality (even baluchis)for all ethnic groups and ends the tribal loyalties before Afghan reconciliation happens with their own groups, Pakistan will be condemned to be insecure of any prospect of nation building project in Afghanistan.
Finally the population of pushtoons in Pakistan is larger than the population of pushtoons in Afghanistan creating a strong pullback by Afghanistan territorially or demographically, unless it creates a Pakistani identity stronger than pushtoon identity, Pakistan as a nation continue to face this problem. Strong pluralistic democracy (in some ways reflecting India, strange to hear but true) is a good way to start this.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

sensiblepatriot,

You raise very good points. You are correct in your saying that the identity of Pakistan is extremely weak. Right from the time of Jinnah, they have managed to hold on to this identity by means that have weakened them terribly. Relying on an enemy to unite a diverse group of people has been the policy. There have been many unnecessary phobia based approaches to achieve this end – Islam is under threat, Pakistan is under threat etc.

India or any country will become a threat only is they are messed with. The US came back in 2001 because it was messed with and now has become a threat to Pakistan itself. Its leaders have tried to gain mileage by using the US as the enemy now. When Russia invaded Afghanistan, it became the enemy to fight. They have always sought an enemy to keep their internal friction under control. If you look at their cricket team, you can see this aspect show clearly. It is a microcosm of the Pakistani mindset. If left to themselves, they start falling apart quickly, wasting away all the talent that they have got. When they play India, somehow they forget their differences and one can see the zeal and spirit with which they play. India has been the envisioned enemy in their psyche, which unites them. If India becomes a friend and a harmless one at that, what happens to the Pakistani identity and unity?

What matters is that the mind set change. Pashtuns or any other ethnic minority would gladly stay with Pakistan, if the country progresses first. People should feel a part of the fabric. Otherwise groups will try to leave for the flimsiest reasons. Pakistan really has to worry about its Pashtun ethnic group. Kashmir Jihad was launched mainly to deflect Pashtun nationalism. Enemies of Islam gives a much bigger umbrella to unite the centrifugal factions. Wars have been extremely convenient in this regard. That is why their military has taken the center stage in their history.

Looking forward, I hope Imran Khan gets to lead his country and changes their mind set entirely in a new direction. He has to make his people believe that Pakistan as a nation is real; there is no enemy for Pakistan or Islam; the country has to be built from scratch and if Pakistan tries to be friendly with all its neighbors, that courtesy will only be reciprocated.

India has not destroyed Nepal or Bangladesh or Myanmar or Sri Lanka. It has interfered with them only when India was messed with. Srilanka’s Tamil ethnic war has its roots in the cold war between the US and USSR. It is an entirely different topic altogether. RAW whipped up the Tamil ethnic rebellion when Sri Lanka eagerly tried to offer the Americans a base at Triconamilee. They had in Julius Jeyawardane, an extremely clever and manipulative politician. RAW decided to toss Sri Lanka out of balance and unsettle everything there in order to prevent the US from setting up a base. It hurt Sri Lanka economically and the LTTE became uncontrollable. Jeyawardane once again used his political skills to lure an inexperienced Rajeev Gandhi to send in the IPKF and turned the LTTE against India. The rest we all know.

Now India has moved in a different direction and Sri Lanka has learned not to mess with India. And the geo-political equations have changed. The US has become a friendly nation to India to the extent that it has its Marines based there for containing Islamic militancy. The moral of the story is this – do not mess with others and they will not mess with you. Pakistan’s military has to be reminded of that moral. I do like the development between Pakistan’s civilian government and the neighboring nations. I sincerely hope the efforts are not derailed.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

KP, If didn’t cross you, I am just posting a critical article by Huma yusuf in dawn and its an indication how the Pakistani policy is evolving.
Without naming any stakeholders in the foreign policy of Pakistan she cleverly outlines what Pakistan foreign policy is about in the “medium term”.

She says “A thoughtful review and consequent paradigm shift in US-Pakistan relations could go a long way towards clarifying a national vision for Pakistan and setting medium-term policy priorities.” National policy for the medium term, and she elquently put it

so in this medium term “Pakistan has largely articulated its stance on Afghanistan, identifying the following wish list: Pathan (in this case Taliban) participation at the centre following a political reconciliation process; minimal Indian presence on the ground, particularly in connection with the Afghan National Army; continued international support for the Afghan economy, a more sustainable model for the Afghan Nation Security Forces. Implicit in this wish list are Pakistan’s expectations of the US, as a guarantor against Indian presence in Afghanistan and a backer of its artificially inflated economy. The US has yet to coherently acknowledge, engage or provide viable alternatives for this wish list”, realize the word minimal indian presence and guarantor against India presence occurs twice in this policy. I wonder if there is a major shift or Pakistan’s Indian version of “Running with the hares and hunting with the hounds”.

wait ther’s more! She says “Ultimately, any review of how Pakistan frames its relations with the US must address Islamabad’s medium-term plans for engagement with New Delhi. Pakistan can ‘absorb the shocks’ of minimising or severing ties with the US only if it normalises relations with India.”. So is it the fear of consequence of severing ties with US the reason for recent and sudden spurt in our relations. Some hawks might be hitting their head to a wall saying “In a time when India should be pressing a bit harder to change Pakistan’s terror policy, India is being drawn into Pakistan’s duplicity, Can’t they wait for few years in the Vaccum of American absence and then decide”. Economically and geo politically (while Pakistan won’t accept this) Pakistan doesn’t want both sides of the border to be hostile to it and any slip in relations with US can only be diluted with improvement in “trade” relations with India. Seems even china doesn’t have the muscle here.
Isn’t this a medium term policy aka a policy made out of desperation to reduce hostile American influence over Paksitan and she deduces correctly when she says “Closer cooperation and transparency regarding Pakistan and India’s goals in Afghanistan will help ease tensions while generating regionally palatable solutions to the conflict that necessarily sideline American influence”. See “sidelining American influence” either Taliban have become too powerful for Pakistan or Americans have become too hostile for them.

Finally she again puts the “medium” component in her article “If made correctly, those choices could transform Pakistan’s medium-term prospects for stability and prosperity.”
Medium Term haa.. Is it Pakistani policy makers not adequately confident of their “choices” or are they still open to their other “choice”, if the conditions improve. While I appreciate the politicians pragmatism in not to take on the ire of fundementalists, won’t it be good to take on them right now when Americans are around and Army is on a weak wicket or later when conditions worsen (inspite to improvement in relations, Pakistan needs to grow even faster and longer) and no Americans around and mullahs get every oppurtunity to blame the politicos.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

sensiblepatriot,

Thanks for the article by Huma Yusuf. Pakistan really needs to change its mind set. India has its presence in almost all countries for various reasons. In some cases it is military based. In some cases it is purely based on development projects. Pakistani leaders have to realize that India is not going all out to destroy them. I understand their views because they are used to operating this way – constantly preparing for confrontation. As a result, they get paranoic about others and mistake their moves as being a similar activity for sabotaging their nation. The best way to eliminate this fear is to stop doing it to others. They have to come out in the open and say that they will no longer be doing such things to others. This will mean open disbanding of the Afghan Taliban, and support to the various militant groups like LeT. This is what the the US has been driving at. Until Pakistan does this, no one is going to trust its motives 100%. Progress will go on for many fronts. However they can get derailed if Pakistan exhibits its duplicitous behavior again. Pakistan should realize that it has lost credibility. They have demonstrated clearly on many occasions that they can back stab where possible and cannot be trusted 100%. Unfortunately they happen to be neighboring us and we have to work with them where we can and work against them if the need arises. That is the only way we can contain them. They tend to assume a lot of things without much basis and make their moves based on those assumptions. The most fundamental assumption is that India is their enemy. Once that definition is made, everything is based on it. That is the assumption that is forcing them to lay pre-conditions like India be evicted from Afghanistan for any peace process to start. It is blatantly obvious what they are after. They are still looking at everything from a militaristic geo-strategic stand point. They are not giving any recognition to the fact that India is a huge country and a regional power. It cannot be dictated to. The US will not agree to any pre-conditions that Pakistan demands. Imagine India agreeing to those terms. Sometimes they place these conditions, knowing well that they will not be accepted. This way they can stall progress and blame the others for not coming forward to meet their demands. They want India to vacate Afghanistan. They they want India to vacate Kashmir. Soon they might ask India to vacate Delhi itself. They know it is not going to happen. Let us see if Pakistani leaders accept the reality and go along sincerely towards peace. If they do not seek peace, they will be the ones losing big time from here on. They have no one on their side. The Chinese have never come to their rescue when it mattered to them. And they never will. Uighurs are rioting again. Connect the dots.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

KP, Interestingly the change in the mindset of Pakistanis is unmistakable regarding India-Pakistan relations and a significant number of them now cautiously support this thaw in relations that is occuring for the past two years.
The only dampener is the lobby which seeks normalization is still restricted to political class and that too a section of it.
Even then considering past choices that Pakistan made on India, the rhetorice against India has considerable declined but turned instead to America. The strong anti-US protests there were obviously the result of War on Terror which most Pakistanis (except the English media liberals) hate and this anger only spilled on the streets signifying the change in the Enemy in the subconcious mind.
While we could be glad that the heat is off on our side, the worrying factor is the Pakistan is yet to get out of the denial mode regarding the past choices it has made. It need not even reconcile openly, that would be hard for a seemingly proud nation but could slowly undo some the choices it has willingly taken.
And although it would be too early to celebrate victory that our point is vindicated (we have been advocating that let trade bossom and put in intractible issue in cold storage), it would do good for us to realize the change in attitude is temporal and is still subject to changing geo political realities.
Indian experts must realize that just as India has its own interests to guard Pakistan has them too. So policy makers in India must scruninize the choices made by Pakistan and if they feel they are good at stabilizing the region, they should support “specific policies” knowing fully that even Pakistan doesn’t have complete mandate to overrun Afghan policies due to china’s own fear of reemergence of militant environment if Pakistan has a free run. India must support the “specific policies” like the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project which given its nature must come with a pre-requisite of safety along Iran-Afghan-Pakistan region.In any case, the above policy can only be taken once US moves out or reduces its foot print in Afghanistan.
I belive the biggest danger lurking for Pakistan in the medium term is haphazard withdrawl of the Americans which would vindicate the military’s policy on Afghanistan so much so that Mujahideens would be seen as liberators from US imperialism and the mystic of invincibility attached to the fighters. They then roam the streets of Aghanistan and Pakistan forcing the Pakistani policy makers to either dumb down their relations or worse make a volta face to the direction that they are presently seeking. The mystic that two superpowers were defeated in a matter of too and half decades is too good for the “establishment” that had rough time for quite some time. Pakistani security forces will face less heat from Pakistani Taliban and the focus shifts onto recapturing Afghanistan. With the absence of Americans, the conflict will be back between reemerging Taliban and Northern alliance where India would be seen a main arbiter of the Northern Alliance. This is the moment of reckoning where India (and will all the support it could get from US,China) must make clear to Pakistan that all the relation building that it has cultivated for the past decade of so will go into the drain unless Pakistan mediates for ceasefire and later Peace between warring parties.But in all respects this is a medium term problem that both countries must encounter and this is the time India will need to standup strong and unrelenting in this policy. The everlasting peace on both sides durand line in any case will only be made by a strong pluralistic and democratic pakistan where all ehtnicities get immersed in its diversity.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

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