Wednesday, September 2, 2015

India Pakistan Dialog : Look at New Ways

Another opportunity of dialog between India and Pakistan has fallen apart, amid tension and bitterness. Genesis for this dialog was a meeting between Indian and Pakistani prime ministers in the Russian city of Ufa. The joint statement of the meeting read, that National Security Advisors (NSA) will meet to discuss terror related issues, exchange information and prepare forum to discuss all other outstanding issues. Ever since the Ufa declaration was met, informed circles in both countries realized India had score a victory of sorts in the declaration, as Kashmir was not mentioned in the declaration. Pakistani NSA was forced to explain centrality of Kashmir for all India Pakistan dialog. Shelling started to happen from across the border on civilian areas. Two terror attacks happened, one in Gurdaspur in Punjab and another in Jammu and Kashmir. A live terrorist was also arrested, who happened to be a Pakistani national.

All these were probably done to provoke Indian side to call off the talk in protest. When that did not happen, Pakistan decided to change agenda by expressing desire to discuss Kashmir. Even this did not derail the meeting, then Pakistan NSA wanted to meet leaders of Hurriyat before starting discussion with Indian NSA. This may be the last straw that broke camels back. Because India did not agree to Pakistan meeting Hurriyat leaders earlier, this time India was forced to follow the precedent.

There may be merit to the argument that India handled badly meeting of Pakistan's NSA, Sartaj Aziz and Hurriyat leaders in Pakistan embassy. India and the world knows Jammu and Kashmir had genuine election where nearly 70% people had voted to choose a agovernment. Hurriyat did not participate in the election. So Hurriyat cannot be called true representatives of people of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistanis can meet them, but in a bilateral talk if India, the second party, does not recognise Hurriyat then dialog does not proceed. However, no self respecting country can allow another foreign power to meet separatists, that want to cede from India, within India. Would Pakistan allow, if Indian NSA / ambassador meets separatists from Balochistan or Sindh or FATA in Indian embassay?


May be Pakistan did not want to proceed with the dialog, because India had proof that another terrorist caught alive proves complicity of Pakistan. May be Pakistan civilian government wanted to solve economic problems plaguing Pakistan and move on with other important tasks like job creation, healthcare, economy etc.  Pakistan army, most likely, did not like civilian government to follow independent and friendly agenda with respect to India. 

This brings to my mind question if there any point talking to Pakistan, at all? Pakistan will not stop being unfriendly and inimical to India, till it forces India cede a territory, read Jammu and Kashmir to start with,  and make it appear that Pakistani army's might is instrumental in the process. This will be Pakistan’s revenge for being forced to give up East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. Pakistani elite, mostly army, has conveniently forgotten that condition Pakistan had created in Bangladesh was ripe for revolution. India was facing influx of refugees. So there was little scope for India than not act. Pakistan could have and should have allowed Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to rule. Sheikh Mujib of Awami League had won the election fair and square and had more members in Pakistani parliament. Instead, Pak unleashed terror, rape, murder and mayhem on Bangladeshi civilians. In no Indian state, be it Jammu and Kashmir or Punjab India has ever created Bangladesh like situation, as much as Pakistan may claim. 

Only way a meaningful dialog with Pakistan can happen is when we can inflict pain on Pak. The way to do this is by talking to Baloch and Sindhi separatists and take up their cause to international stage. At the same time strengthen or vigil for infiltration and subversive activities. Use technology if need be. In international arena, only people with power, money or muscle, are heard. That is real politik.

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