Thursday, July 22, 2010

Are we expecting too much from Pakistan?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

There has been huge hue and cry over the relative failure of India-Pakistan foreign ministers’ talks. This after Pakistani side wriggled out of the talks after India disclosed of the David Coleman Headle’s link with the Pakistani intelligence service the ISI. The Pakistani side which had been lying low due to the US pressure suddenly got a shot in the arm to make a mockery out of the talks. This left our foreign minister SM Krishna dejected who had gone to Islamabad with high hopes and huge promises.

The big question that arises here aren’t we expecting too much from Pakistan? Did people in the Indian intelligence and security agencies expect Pakistan to own up the link? The government has been sending multiple dossier to Pakistan relating to the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai but has Pakistan acted? Or rather do we expect the Pakistani establishment to act tough with the perpetrators of terror? The answer is known to most people around the world but as far as official records are concerned we are not willing to accept the obvious.

Most people in India have believed that Kashmir is the bone of contention between the two nations. But the main problem lies in the political and military culture that has developed in the two nations over the last 63 years since independence and subsequent partition. While India developed into a well functioning democracy (at least on papers), Pakistan is yet to come to term with itself. It is neither a democracy, nor a military ruled state which faces the fear of being run over by militants. In this situation we should not be singing the tunes of diplomacy with Pakistan.

While India is striving towards becoming one of the largest economies in the world, Pakistan is trying hard to hold a nation together. The Frankenstein monster that it had created to wage a proxy war against India is slowly biting it on its head. There is complete lawlessness in the tribal areas of the north and demand for independence in the Balochistan region. In such situations the military and the intelligence are left loose. The result is a Mumbai attack which most likely was backed by the ISI. But the Indian side shouldn’t expect any strong actions by the government on ISI.

Waging a proxy war against India is not just a mania but a need for Pakistan. It allows it to divert attention from its own domestic affairs where people from Punjab, Sindhi, Balochistan and northern tribal areas have enough differences between them to be a one nation. In such a situation a proxy war is the only solution for Pakistan to preserve its integrity. In such situations should we expect the Pakistani side to take concrete steps against an agency which holds the grip over integrity of the nation?


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