Our Foreign Secretary in a recent talk has stated that “India’s efforts to bridge the trust deficit and pave the way for a serious and comprehensive dialogue were thwarted by a level of overreach by Pakistan”. The overreach is just one ploy of scuttling progress.
When our Home and Foreign Ministers visited Pakistan they encountered insults instead of overreach. The next time around it will be some new tactic. The real problem is that while both nations want to keep the dialogue process going, the motives are strikingly different.
Kayani openly states that his security obsession is India”¦ Since Kayani is the Army Chief it would be fair to assume that he represents the mania of the Pakistani Army. Therefore the problem for India and the world is not Kayani alone but the Pakistani Army.
Our Prime Minister is committed to talks with Pakistan so that we can settle our differences and live in peace and harmony. His sincerity is unquestionable. The Pakistani establishment is equally committed to talks but its intentions appear suspect.
On evidence there is reason to believe that Pakistan driven by its Army- uses the dialogue process to buy time for the next strike, the next cut to keep us bleeding till we disintegrate or till they discover what their Nation is all about and come to terms with their identity as Bangla Desh appears to have done.
Kayani openly states that his security obsession is India. Some who have interacted with him believe that his fixation is so deep that he is unable to fully comprehend the gravity of the incessant reports and comments on the stability and survivability of his country. Since Kayani is the Army Chief it would be fair to assume that he represents the mania of the Pakistani Army. Therefore the problem for India and the world is not Kayani alone but the Pakistani Army; the Army that has virtually ruled the Country for the last fifty years or so, ever since General Ayub Khan first seized power through a military coup.
Now what is the Pakistan Army’s strategic philosophy? Though generally known it merits repetition. After Dec 1971 when the country was split into two, the shell shocked Pakistani Army began a reappraisal of its capabilities in the context of its arch enemy- India. The review was not driven by considerations of securing national interests. Instead the principle driver of the exercise was revenge. And it is this pathological obsession with revenge that remains deeply embedded in the psyche of the Pakistani Army. So hurting India became the paramount mission.
Kashmir and other bilateral issues provide the fig leaves for the international community and maybe for the liberal, tolerant and enlightened population within.
In terms of conventional military forces the equation after 1971, had begun to alter significantly in India’s favor. It was also evident that with the passage of time the capability gap would become unbridgeable. So to neutralize India’s conventional force advantage it gave the acquisition of nuclear weapons, the greatest priority.
The nuclear brinkmanship that we have witnessed since the latter half of the eighties was clearly to be expected as the next logical step in the unraveling of its new strategy. China’s support was understandable but that the West facilitated and acquiesced in this game plan till the turn of this century points to the failure of our diplomacy. As a matter of fact some mindsets still persist. Otherwise how do we explain the continued pressure on us to make concessions on Kashmir?