De-Lurking on the Net

December 16, 2014

Pakistan’s s Future could still be rosy after the latest mayhem

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(courtesy Digital Globe: google Images)

So, soon after Malala got the Nobel Prize, this carnage today on a Pakistani Military School comes along, perhaps it is the biggest attack fatalities wise in Pakistan. Taliban seems to be the perpetrator. In spite of being poignant, I am looking again with the renewed vigour on Pakistan. There is this article from Shashi Tharoor on Pakistan and India relations, talks etc. Shashi Tharoor was the state foreign minister in last Indian govt. He came second to to Ban Ki Moon  of being head of the UN . He writes that it  is no policy for India not to engage with Pakistan in talks. I wonder what type of meaningless talks he advocates and with whom. All talks are meaningless as Pak Army has persisted with the same ideology of two nation theory and bleeding India to thousand cuts even after the appointment of its latest General, Mr Raheel Sharif. They do not want to give up controlling the Pak budget. It does not matter if it keeps the Pakistan sliding further into destitution. They are becoming good guys in the eyes of public at present though as TTP seems to have been suppressed or eliminated in spite of this one off carnage today. The attitude however on the path regarding capturing Kashmir or controlling Afghanistan has not changed one bit by Army. So, saving the terrorists or so-called Mujahid’s terror camps or their infiltration into Kashmir remains as before. Also, those Talibans were saved which may soon be operating in the  Afghanistan e.g. Haqqanis. The new Afghan govt is on the back foot at present as it can not afford to blame Pakistan straight away on daily unfolding bombs explosions.  It wants Pakistan to help in reconciliation with Talibans who have already started getting better results in the aftermath of withdrawal of NATO forces.

So, where do we stand ? The Afghan govt is definitely better equipped this time as against when USSR left Afghanistan in 1989. This time it has functional army with some tools handed over to them by US/NATO. But it is dependent on the handout from US etc and it has developed no self sustaining capacity financially. So, a sustained campaign by  Taliban reducing the govt capacity to fight back daily will make the Afghan Govt cede a sizeable controlling power  in Afghanistan soon to them. With that looming victory, the role of India and US in Afghanistan will soon be over and both of these powers have to reconcile to this fact. However, Mr Kerry is going to Pak to develop a good relationship of US with Pak. So, Pak army will be resurgent and confident in spite of occasional setbacks as today’s carnage. It has already started dictating to its civilian govt on India-Pak relations. So, in such a scenario, without doubt no brick can move in its  relationship with India either on trade or on other disputes irrespective of what civilian govt Pak may have? It is also not in India’s interests to pursue the repair of any relations with Pakistan when the army  remains in ascendance and largely in charge unless someone like Gen Musharraf comes again to the fore.

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(Courtesy AP – BBC)

This does not sound very optimistic but where does the future rests of Pakistani state. Well, it is entirely in the hands of Pak Army. If the army believe in the welfare of Pakistan and not just in the welfare of their own institution, then there is a solution.

In 1959, there was a proposal made by then Pakistani ruler Gen Ayub Khan to India for building joint Defence . It was shot down by India as it was not clear on joint defence against whom. India at the time wanted to follow avidly non-alignment as being its founder and Pakistan was a member of SEATO and CENTO and completely aligned with the west.  So, it would have meant defence against communist block. Mr Nehru, had however made several (at least 10) no-war pact proposals to Pakistan e.g. in 1949, 1958, 1963 but Pakistan rejected them all because it wanted Kashmir to be settled first.

Now, one thing that can happen which did not happen in the past  is for Pak Army to accept the divided Kashmir on the current boundaries (Ceasefire lines, Lines of Control etc)  and make a new  pact with India on joint military for any expeditions or joint missions e.g. terrorism or Maoism in India. It could be based on the same lines like UK and France have done. Such a pact should not be seeking only the joint defence against external enemies or no-war pact as these two sides offered to each other in the past. This should enable  Pakistan to stay together and be governable and be able to educate its public and make them reasonably well off. Pakistan will be able to exploit its resources and the  restive states as Baluchistan etc can become peaceful .In doing so, the Pak Military does not have to drastically reduce its budget but the  army  will also benefit as it does not have to compete any more with India on every modernisation effort Indian army engages in. It will help not only SAARC to become a proper union but also help Afghanistan to become viable. I am sure India will not shoot down such a proposal if it came from Pak Military. Trouble is India has to recognize that Indian civilian govt has to talk and negotiate either directly with Pak Army or with a group made up of civilian govt and Pak Army. This alone can help build the trust between these two eternal enemies (Pak and India) and this alone will establish that Pak definitely have an intent of moving forward  on its relations with India.

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