Talks, No Talks again Talks, What Pakistan Policy we have?
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 06 Aug , 2015

Before 26 May 2014 when Modi Government took over the reins of power in Delhi, in last fifteen years we have been following the Pakistan policy of talks at any cost a gesture which Pakistan took as our weakness. After Modi government came on the scene India did take an initial tough stand of no talks till Mumbai attack accused in Pakistan are speedily dealt with and Pakistan sponsored terror is put to an end. However in the recent meeting at  Ufa between the Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the side-lines of Shanghai group convention in Ufa, Russia, It appears Modi government is also falling in line with the same old Pakistan policy of talks, no talks and again talks. Time we make up our mind how we want to tackle Pakistan.

After Kargil war India decided no talks with Pakistan. However in July 2001 we were again having summit talks with Pakistani President General Musharraf in Agra that failed to produce any results.

In February 1999 when then Indian Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was rushing to Lahore with a bus load of top politicians of India to meet his counterpart the same Nawaz Sharif and sign the Lahore declaration, Pakistani Army was quietly occupying The Kargil heights of India in Kashmir.  Now various books from Pakistani authors are out which confirm that Nawaz Sharif fully knew what his Army was doing at that time. After Kargil war India decided no talks with Pakistan. However in July 2001 we were again having summit talks with Pakistani President General Musharraf in Agra that failed to produce any results.  As is wont of Pakistan it retaliated by launching a jehadi attack on Indian Parliament in session in late 2001. By sheer luck and great sacrifice by security forces our parliamentarians were saved. India then launched OP PARAKRAMAN. The whole might of Indian army was deployed on the Pakistani border. However after one year of this deployment, disclosing our entire jump off points to Pakistan, Indian politicians chickened out and we withdrew achieving nothing. Then in 2004 Indian Prime Minster Vajpayee was again in Pakistan attending a SAARC meeting though we did extract a promise from Pakistan that itwill not allow the use of its territory  for promoting terror against India. But then Pakistan known for its duplicity did not follow this promise after the departure of Musharraf from the scene.

In mid 2004 in came the Congress led UPA Government in India with Dr Manmohan Singh as our new Prime Minister that governed  India for 10 years till May 2014.They went an step further and followed the policy of talks with Pakistan at all costs. In 2006 Dr Manmohan Singh in his summit meeting with Musharraf in Havana even agreed to jointly investigate with Pakistan all terror related cases originating from Pakistan. This is the first case in the history of the world where Pakistan whose official policy is to propagate terror in India was asked to investigate the same terror incidents which it was propagating. How Indians could be so naive  only the God knows. Then the Pakistani Army and ISI sponsored jehadi terror attack in Mumbai took place on 26\11\2008 and we vowed no talks with Pakistan till the perpetrators of this attack are punished by Pakistan. However our Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh again had a summit talk with his counterpart Geelani then Prime Minister of Pakistan in Sharm-el-Sheik in 2009 without Pakistan doing anything to the perpetrators of Mumbai attack. This time we even agreed to delink the terror attacks on India by Pakistani jehadis with our talks with Pakistan and even conceded the Pakistani demand that we should investigate Indian involvement of spreading terror in Baluchistan. This was flaccidnaivety to the extreme by the Indian Government.

…now it appears that after UPA, Modi Government is also going soft on Pakistan…

The current Indian Government of Shri Modi came into being in may 2014 with full majority. Shri Modi did invite all SAARC country heads for his oath taking ceremony on 26 May last year. To the credit of Pakistan its Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also came and had a summit meeting with Shri Modi the next day. In this meeting both country decided to resume the foreign secretary level talks in august that year. As is the nature of Pakistan, before these talks scheduled to take place on 24 Aug 2014 could commence they invited the separatist leaders of Kashmir. An annoyed India then cancelled the said talks. This was a big departure from the previous government policies and message did go to Pakistan that under Shri Modi India will be a tough customer. As is usual with Pakistan, whenever India takes a tough stand they start activating the India –Pakistan International Border and LOC by cease fire violations. This time India took a very tough stand and instead of being restrained effectively retaliated.. Resulting in both Pakistani Army and the Pakistani rangers suffering damage and Pakistanis did learn a lesson. So far so good and Pakistan did get worried with its Generals rattling their nukes and India being standoffish.

Having taken this tough stand, a departure from past, now it appears that after UPA Modi Government is also going soft on Pakistan and falling prey to the fiction created by the Indian political class and their advisors that Pakistani Army is at askance with the policies of the democratically elected government of Pakistan and India must go all out to hold the hand of Nawaz Sharif government to strengthen it and make army tow the Pakistani government line of peace with India. In actual fact this is a charade created by Pakistan to fool India and the world.

Only way we can counter Pakistani terror is to return this Pakistani covert war with our own covert operations in Pakistan… An unstable Pakistan fighting among itself is best option for India because then the mischief making capability of its Army and ISI is that much reduced.

Nawaz Sharif is as much anti India as the Pakistani army is and there is no dissonance between them. Lashkar-e-Toiba the perpetrator of Mumbai carnage of 26/11 and its head Hafiz Mohammad Saeed enjoys close rapport with Nawaz Sahrif. The L-e-T is the jehadi arm of the Pakistani army and has been raised by Pakistani army against India. It is a Punjabi terror organisation which enjoys complete support from the Nawaz Sharif brother Shabaz Sharif the current CM of Punjab province. Year before last Shabaz Sharif gave millions of rupees as grant to Hafiz Saeed and his parent arm Jammat-ud –Dawa for their generous work in flood relief in Pakistan.

This facade of Pakistani Army bent upon spoiling relations with India while it’s democratically elected government wanting good and peaceful relations with India has been purposely created by Pakistan to restrain India in its response and make the world at large believe that the ongoing talks with India and public opinion in Pakistan will make army change its view. This allows the Pakistani army to carry out its jihad against India with its foot soldiers the L-e-T and with deniability that Pakistani official machinery has got nothing to do with terror attacks against India since Pakistan also is a victim state of the terror. It is time this charade is brought to its logical conclusion. Why is India getting involved in Pakistani internal politics? Our stand should be that what happens within Pakistan is not our concern our area of worry is the terror being propagated from Pakistani soil and that we will counter it with all available means.

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Only way we can counter Pakistani terror is to return this Pakistani covert war with our own covert operations in Pakistan. Why is India falling head over heels to convince Pakistan that a stable Pakistan is good for the region? An unstable Pakistan fighting among itself is best option for India because then the mischief making capability of its Army and ISI is that much reduced. As of now the head of MQM holding sway over Sind province of Pakistan Mr Altaf Husain is openly asking for India’s help against the oppression of Punjabi Pakistani Army in Karachi. MQM is made of those Urdu speaking Muslims who migrated to Pakistan from India. They are our brothers and India has a right to give them moral support as Pakistan is doing to kashmiris. We must highlight each act of oppression of Pakistani army on these Mohajirs. Similarly Balochis want our help so what stops us from giving them help?

We must shed this stigma of a soft state. Our political masters must understand that to win a proxy war its takes two to tango. We must make our external intelligence agency RAW an inter service organisation on the lines of CIA of America or Mossad of Israel. We must also become proactive. Our political masters must understand that Pakistan will never be our friend. Earlier it was proxy of America and now it is of China. So let us play this game of proxy war with Pakistan on a level field. There are no short cuts available.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Brig Arun Bajpai

Defence and Strategic Analyst

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2 thoughts on “Talks, No Talks again Talks, What Pakistan Policy we have?

  1. With Pak, it is a ‘no go’ situation. There certainly is a realization in the government of India that talks with Pakistan are merely an essential fixture in the total picture and nothing good is to be expected from this exercise. Even Pak knows that talks are futile. They even know that terror attacks are equally futile if we look at the past terror attacks and their outcomes. If anything these have worked against Pak interests. These attacks have convinced the West that Pak is a terror state. But pressing into terror attacks madmen and down and out social dregs has become a routine, though pointless exercise for Pak military establishment. Just ask the question, will such attacks win J&K for Pak? Or will they cause all the infidels in India to convert to the true faith? However, talks are essential, because our former ill-wishers and the current well-wishers in the West pin their hopes for peace in what seems to be a nuclear flashpoint to them. The whole Indo-Pak situation has worked itself to a standstill. It is not even a stale-mate. It is a standstill, an active standstill, such as comes about when irresistible force meets and immovable object. For all the grunting and heaving, nothing happens. There is a need to have a completely new approach to this impasse.

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