Saturday, February 6, 2010

India's Initiative for Talks and Pakistan

India has once again invited Pakistan for foreign secretary-level talks. A positive response has been given, yet Pakistan is projecting the Indian invitation for the resumption of dialogue as a decision taken under international pressure. There is truth in this comment, for the world attention is once again attracted to Pakistan owing to the conditions prevalent in Afghanistan and the Taliban activity. The Western troops are in a hurry to quit Afghanistan, but the Taliban problem persists unabated. Under the circumstances, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries once again need Pakistan.
If Pakistan did not take effective action against the Taliban, it would again spread instability in Afghanistan. And if its demands are not conceded, then Pakistan will stop fighting with the Taliban. In such conditions, the United States and the NATO nations would again endeavor to water down the India phobia being put forward by Pakistan. It is as a consequence of this very consideration that foreign countries are constantly exerting pressure on India to resume talks with Pakistan.
India is not desisting from talks with Pakistan. In fact, the Indian policy is to maintain peace in the Asian region for it is in the interest of the entire South Asia region, including India. But Pakistan has been employing all sorts of tactics to destabilize India.

Pakistan's Support to Militancy
In Kashmir, militants continue to receive the Pakistani support until today and the Pakistani intelligence system and its military continue to hatch designs to carry out terrorist attacks in India from time to time. Which is why, India does not deem it fit now to hold talks with Pakistan because there is no likelihood of any better outcome emerging from the talks.
As soon as India and Pakistan make some headway to agree on some issue, the Pakistan intelligence and military system tries to sabotage the prospects of bringing the mutual consensus to some positive end, by launching an attack on India. And when tension mounts between the two countries the security system in Pakistan finds an opportunity to register its importance and attract the government's attention to itself.
In Pakistan, there exists a strong lobby on a permanent basis that is determined to disrupt progress in India in any circumstances and wants to create an environment of uncertainty by spreading instability in the region.
The Pakistani Government favors resumption of the dialogue process between the countries, yet the fact remains that the Pakistani regime is not in a position to exercise control over anti-India elements in its country. Unless and until Pakistan does not bring about a transformation in its system, it will be extremely difficult to make headway in the talks between the countries.

Unclear Decision
At this juncture, why has the Indian Government made a decision to restart dialogue with Pakistan is not clear. It is, however, true that Pakistan has decided to prosecute Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and others who have been linked to the terrorist attack in Mumbai on 26 November 2008. Nevertheless, the stance adopted by the Pakistani Government in the past on the issue is absolutely negative. It is no secret that instead of reining in the Mumbai attackers and terrorist organizations or their kingpins, Pakistan has been finding excuses to prolong the issue by putting forward all kinds of pretexts or remaining in a mode of denial.
In so far as the Kashmir problem is concerned, the Pakistani Government never denied that several militant organizations impart training to terrorists and thereafter pushed them into India for waging the so-called "jihad." All this notwithstanding, the Indian Government gave no clarification whatsoever for making an abrupt decision to resume dialogue with Pakistan. The South Asian Association for regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit is to be held in Bhutan in the coming days. Ahead of the meeting, home ministers of SAARC countries are due to hold a meeting in Islamabad. Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram is proceeding for Pakistan toward the end of February. India has taken this step probably because Pakistan itself is surrounded by militant outfits. Every other day, bomb blasts are taking place in that country and dozens of people are being killed.
In North Western Frontier Province (NWFP), a sort of war is being fought between the government and terrorists, and the United States also is extending support to it. Until now, not only have hundreds of terrorists and troops died, but a number of top leaders of Taliban jihadi organizations have also been killed in drone air attacks. The Pakistani Government finds itself entrapped in the war and seems to be directionless. Now, there are speculations that the country can disintegrate, and militant organizations can capture its major regions.

Consequence of Talks
One consequence of the resumption of India-Pakistan talks could, of course, emerge in the fact that the Pakistani Government will feel encouraged in its fight against terrorism with its country. It can also be imagined that in such a situation, it might be constrained to review its policy of exploiting terrorism for its strategic interests.
In our perception, India's decision to restart the dialogue process with Pakistan is not its weakness but a step taken under diplomatic considerations. For, by now, it has become certain that a majority of common people of the two countries are in favor of development of mutual friendship and brotherly relationship. It has also become clear that it is imperative to maintain cordial bilateral relations to brighten the destiny of millions of people of the two countries. It is to be hoped that the Pakistani Government takes the Indian offer for talks to help promote this spirit so that not only will mutual ties between people of the two countries improve but also it will be instrumental in raising the standard of life of people in the entire region.

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