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Dealing with Pakistan – Part 1 & Part 2

Discussion in 'International Relations' started by Marqueur, Jan 10, 2015.

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  1. Marqueur

    Marqueur Peaceful Silence ELITE MEMBER

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    Dealing with Pakistan – PART 1

    Pakistan is four nations stuck together by the glue of violent theocracy. The ironies spill over. Founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a Shia. Today Shias are slaughtered daily, especially in the seething cauldron that is Karachi.

    Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, Pakistan’s first foreign minister and the first Pakistani President of the UN General Assembly, was an Ahmadi. He would be horrified at the way his people are being murdered in Pakistan – with the full sanction of the law.

    In 1984, President General Zia-ul-Haq issued the anti-Ahmadiyya ordinance which forbade Ahmadis from calling themselves Muslims. Ever since Ahmadis have been the target of murderous assault by the Pakistani state and other fundamentalists.

    Of Pakistan’s 188 million people, 105 million are Punjabis. Another 40 million are Sindhis and Mohajirs, 28 million Pashtuns and 7 million Baloch. Minorities, including Hindus and Christians, make up the rest.

    The Pakistani army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) are dominated by Punjabis. Most Pashtuns – though not all – have been co-opted. Sindhis retain their political base but their leaders are feudal, exemplified by the wealthy and corrupt Bhutto family. The Mojahirs – émigrés from India during partition – continue to be marginalized and persecuted.

    The Pakistani Punjabi is an odd character. Rooted in an Indus civilizational culture, he has a split personality, hankering after an Arab-Persian-Turko ancestry that eludes him.

    But Pakistan’s problems run deeper than ethnicity or demographics. In the 1960s, Pakistan’s GDP was around 30% of India’s. Its per capita income was significantly higher than India’s. Today Pakistan’s GDP ($250 billion) is barely 12% of India’s and its per capita income significantly lower. The gap is widening every year.

    Pakistan’s stated ambition is parity with India: militarily, economically and geopolitically. Terrorism – or death by a thousand cuts – has been its modus operandi since the 1980s to achieve this objective.

    The Peshawar massacre changes nothing. Pakistan continues to train, fund and sponsor Punjab-based terrorist groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jammat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). It fights only the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban. The latter, Tehreek-e-Taliban (TeT), has sworn to uproot the Pakistani state and took responsibility for the Peshwar massacre.

    The Afghan Taliban has meanwhile battled the US and NATO in Afghanistan. Pakistan has, under severe US pressure, reluctantly launched a campaign against it.

    But the Punjab-based Pakistani terrorists (Hafiz Saeed, Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi, et al) remain pampered guests, used by the Pakistani army to launch terror attacks on India. By doing so, a psychotic nation that Pakistan has over the decades developed into hopes to reduce the “asymmetry” – economic, military and geopolitical – that exists with India.

    Every time a terror attack – or even an aborted attempt at one as in the case of the Pakistani vessel that blew up off Porbandar – occurs, a counter-narrative emerges from Islamabad, faithfully mimicked by sections of the Indian media and former diplomats, bureaucrats and armed forces officers. This narrative tries to downplay such incidents and question the credibility of India’s security apparatus.

    Those who have a vested interest in Track-II or back channel talks are especially eager to draw an equivalence between India and Pakistan. There, of course, is no equivalence though Pakistan and its Indian ventriloquists strive to manufacture one.

    So what are India’s options? We can’t change our neighbours but we can certainly change their delinquent behavior. The strategy must straddle four fronts: diplomatic pressure; economic sanctions; military action; and covert operations.

    The Modi government has signalled its intent by retaliating with force to Pakistan’s mortar shelling across the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB). But the four-pronged strategy to deal effectively with Pakistan must go deeper and further.

    Both Afghanistan, following the NATO troop drawdown, and Balochistan, in deep ferment, have implications for India’s strategy. Afghans and Baloch have longstanding antipathies towards Pakistan and goodwill for India. Both must form part of India’s overall strategy to neutralize Pakistan’s delinquent behavior.

    These measures must be practical, well thought-out and robust. Of that and more in part-2 of this article.

    Follow @minhazmerchant on twitter

    DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.

    Times Of India | Blogs
     
  2. Marqueur

    Marqueur Peaceful Silence ELITE MEMBER

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    Dealing with Pakistan – PART 2

    Nasir Dagaarzai is the central character in a film, “The Line of Freedom”, on the Balochistan insurgency. Directed by British filmmaker David Whitney and produced by brothers Noordin and Bharval Mengal, the film tells the story of Dagaarzai who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered by the Pakistani military.

    Dagaarzai’s murder is part of Pakistan’s brutal “kill and dump” policy against the Baloch people. In 2013 Ajit Doval, now National Security Advisor (NSA), had warned Pakistan: “You can do another Mumbai, but you will lose Balochistan.”

    Balochistan, an arid but resource-rich land, is the largest of Pakistan’s provinces, accounting for 44% of its land mass. Its people are secular in the real sense of the word. They abhor Pakistanis and have much goodwill for India. But of them, and their land, more in a moment.

    In the first part of this article I wrote that India should follow a four-pronged policy to neutralize Pakistan’s decades-long proxy terror war against India.

    First, diplomatic downgrade. The heavy mortar shelling of Indian villages across the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) by Pakistani Rangers has caused the death of several Indian civilians and soldiers. This amounts to an undeclared, if limited, war on the Indian state. The BSF has responded robustly but it is important to stress that India has “responded” – Pakistan in every instance has been the provocateur.

    In such a sustained, medium-intensity conflict, downgrading of diplomatic relations to consular status is the mandatory first step in a calibrated strategy. Pakistan possesses whatever little international credibility it does today because India engages with it – at High Commissioner level, through back channel talks and, till recently, in a structured dialogue.

    All three avenues must, for the present, be terminated.

    Pakistan loses credibility. India loses nothing. The United States’ engagement with Pakistan meanwhile is that of a client paying a disresputable vendor for essential services.

    Second, economic sanctions. Till terrorism from Pakistan aimed at India ends, there is little rationale for continuing Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Islamabad. Reciprocity of MFN (under different nomenclature) to India was promised by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif but has not fructified – and is not likely to in the forseeable future. By withdrawing MFN status, India again loses nothing. Its market is 10 times the size of Pakistan’s and the largely one-way trade between the two countries helps Pakistan not India.

    Furthermore, if Pakistan’s violations across the LoC and IB continue, India should do some plain speaking with its major trading partners: privileged access to India’s big and increasingly prosperous market would be contingent on graded economic sanctions against Pakistan. The US, for example, has deployed international sanctions against Iraq, Iran and North Korea – and even against India after Pokhran-II in 1998. It is a weapon in India’s armoury which has not been used so far. It should be.

    Third, international legal action. The Indian government has long had reservations about internationalising Jammu & Kashmir. That phobia must end. Pakistan-sponsored terrorism is an international crime and should be taken to the International Court of Justice at the Hague. (India is not a member of the International Criminal Court.) Pakistan has limited legal locus standi in Kashmir. The UN resolution of August 13, 1948 on J&K clearly states:

    “As the presence of troops of Pakistan in the territory of the State of Jammu and Kashmir constitutes a material change in the situation since it was represented by the Government of Pakistan before the Security Council; the Government of Pakistan agrees to withdraw its troops from that State.”

    In other words, Pakistan continues to be in illegal occupation of PoK – the principal reason why J&K is the “core issue” though not in the manner Islamabad imagines.

    Fourth, covert operations. India’s covert capability behind enemy lines was severely curtailed by former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral in 1997. It is now being rebuilt by NSA Doval. The capability comprises human intelligence on the ground in Pakistan as well as covert actions within Pakistan against hostile targets including Dawood Ibrahim and the terrorists in the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jammat-ud-Dawa (JuD) he finances with the full knowledge and backing of the ISI.

    This is where the Balochistan insurgency this article began with comes in. The film on the murdered Baloch Nazir Dagaarzai shows how the Pakistan military is perpetrating silent genocide in Balochistan. India can help the Baloch (as it has Afghans) with funds and training in India.

    The Baloch are a proud people but have been brutalized by the Pakistani army and ISI. Balochistan is Pakistan’s Achilles Heel and must form a part of India’s multi-pronged counter-terrorism strategy.

    These four measures – diplomatic, economic, legal and covert – will obviously not end Pakistan’s proxy terrorism. But they will signal a robust new paradigm and send a strong message to the state-sponsored terrorists who infest Pakistan: India is no longer the soft state it was for decades; ignore this warning at your peril.

    Critics of a strong stand against Pakistani terrorism fear the consequences of ratcheting up tensions, even hinting darkly at the use by Islamabad of tactical nuclear weapons. This is nonsense for two reasons.

    First, Pakistan’s Scotch-swilling Generals have a heightened sense of self-preservation. Their predominant aim is to line their pockets with US aid dollars, using Kashmir as an excuse to perpetuate an endless medium-intensity conflict with India. Use of nuclear weapons will end their idyllic world forever.

    Second, Pakistan’s Generals know India has highly developed tactical short-range battlefield nuclear weapons of its own. Nuclear adventurism by Pakistan is not a military option. It is pure bluff. Both India and Pakistan at the highest levels know it.

    A cabal of former Indian diplomats, bureaucrats, armed forces officers and journalists loses no opportunity to draw an equivalence between India and Pakistan on terror victimhood. There is of course none. But it is this enemy within whose insidious narrative has for years forced India to fight Pakistani terror with one hand tied behind its back.

    For terrorism from Pakistan to end, that nexus too must be broken.

    Times Of India | Blogs

    DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.
     
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