Will Pakistan's queer diplomacy work?
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 21 Oct , 2010

It shall not be an overstatement that India is at the focal point of Pakistan’s foreign policy. And it shall remain so unless the chassis of theocratic-jihadi complex which propels the anarchical Islamic Republic is not dismantled.

In fact, Pakistan feeds on the ‘apparition’ called India. Be it through the concept of strategic depth in Afghanistan and by logical extension to Central Asia or by the instrument of human rights violations in Kashmir.

Since inception, the civil-military dispensation of Pakistan has been playing the “Indian Threat Perception (ITP) Diplomacy” to a degree of exploitation”¦

However, to proceed towards the demise of the “theocracy encouraged politico-military establishment”; at least for India, the means seem to be out of bounds and the efforts needed, gargantuan.

Since inception, the civil-military dispensation of Pakistan has been playing the “Indian Threat Perception (ITP) Diplomacy” to a degree of exploitation which extracted for them both political mileage in the international rostrum as well as financial benefits in times of distress.

Nevertheless, recently, there have emerged palpable reasons for Islamabad and concurrently for Rawalpindi (headquarters of its Army) to relinquish (albeit for the time being), the afore-mentioned ITP Diplomacy. Rather, hide the ever prevailing irredentism under the garb of an official stance. And suppress the anti-India vitriol with the aid of a rhetorical cloak.

The indictment of the ISI in the ‘war on terror’ made life difficult for the civil-military combo. In fact, Pakistan somehow had come out, ‘not purely unscathed though’, from the past deeds of being guilty of nuclear proliferation. A scapegoat in the form of an A Q Khan could just relieve them. In addition to that, 9/11 and consequently America’s search for the elusive Osama exalted Pakistan’s position in the world podium.

The ISI became invaluable to CIA as well as to the military intelligence of the NATO forces in hounding the Taliban and the Haqqanis. However, the ISI kept on playing the ‘double game’ with the Americans. The jihadis whom the ISI had nurtured till 9/11 had become the monstrous Frankenstein for itself and hence extrication was not only difficult, but also was defying wisdom. What would happen to the ‘Strategic Depth’ in Afghanistan once the US vacated it?

The ISI kept on playing the “˜double game with the Americans. The jihadis whom the ISI had nurtured till 9/11 had become the monstrous.

Any retributive measure against the terrorists meant more fidayeen attacks on Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi et al. and hence consequent destabilization. Thus, it was not the hubris of a nation-state which coerced it to ‘hunt with the hounds and run with the hares’. Rather it was an existential compulsion plus the ITP-folio which forced Pakistan to act as a ‘double-agent’ in the ‘war on terror’.

But as Providence goes berserk, things actually go out of human control. That is what happened when floods inundated areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sind, and displaced millions of innocent civilians. The Pakistani establishment was forced to abandon the ITP Diplomacy in public because it needed foreign aid and goodwill. It even accepted the aid from the Indian side, albeit reluctantly.

The American pressure was distinctly visible and interestingly, Islamabad chose an American economic daily to universally proclaim its ‘change in stance’. On August 16, the Wall Street Journal carried a no less than sensational “scoop” that the ISI had relegated India from the position of Pakistan’s top ‘enemy’ and the home-grown terrorists have been accorded that position instead.

As if that was not enough; for further corroboration, President Zardari, on the occasion of Pakistan’s ‘Defence Day’ on September 6, expressed fears of an ‘existential threat’ due to the twin problems of ‘terrorism’ and ‘natural disaster’. It is a matter of profound significance that Zardari passed such an assertion on a day which the Pakistanis commemorate as their defence of Lahore against the Indian attack in the 1965 war.

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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

Dr Uddipan Mukherjee, PhD

is Joint Director, Government of India, Ministry of Defence at Ordnance Factory Board

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