Pakistan Timeline: News, Discussions & Opinions

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Hellfire, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. AbRaj
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    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Its already happening. There is overwhelming support for fighting for Islamic coalition which is essentially a Sunni Alliance aimed to suppress Iranian influence in the middle East.
     
  2. AbRaj
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    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Here is the gem
     
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  3. VCheng
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    VCheng RIDER THINK TANK

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    Posted without any comments. Elsewhere I would have been punished for doing this. :D


    https://warontherocks.com/2017/01/pakistans-unending-war-on-civil-society/

    PAKISTAN’S UNENDING WAR ON CIVIL SOCIETY
    C. CHRISTINE FAIR
    JANUARY 24, 2017


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    Pakistan continues to burnish its credentials as a state sponsor of terrorism abroad and as a repressive, murderous environment for dissidents at home. It is a well-known fact that Pakistan’s military and intelligence agencies provide a full suite of state support to a deadly menagerie of militant groups proscribed by the United Nations, the United States, and others. Pakistan’s military and intelligence agencies fete terrorist organizations such as Lashkar-e-Taiba/Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Jaish-e-Mohammad, the Afghan Taliban, and the Haqqani Network, among numerous other groups with state protection as well as financial, diplomatic, political, and military assistance. The leaders of these groups are free to assemble and address large groups, under the protection of security forces. They are free to disseminate their views on a variety of social media without any restraint. They appear on Pakistan’s various television shows as popular “talking heads.” While Pakistan disingenuously claims it is waging a war on terrorists with its National Action Plan (known more appropriately as “NAP”) for purposes of receiving assistance from the United State and other partners, Pakistan is waging a real war on its critics at home and abroad. The United States needs to hold this state accountable. It should apply sanctions, deny security assistance payments, and limit the provision of military equipment and training to those that are narrowly suited for internal security operations while offering Islamabad no advantages in its incessant warmongering towards India.

    War on Civil Society

    Pakistani civil society has borne the brunt of the state’s predations for decades. Since 2005, ethnic dissidents have renewed their insurgency in the western province of Balochistan, following the rape of a Baloch doctor by a military man, which the army tried to cover up. While the rape triggered the current phase of the insurgency, the people of Balochistan have also been disquieted by Pakistan’s efforts to make the province ripe for Chinese exploitation under the guise of the Chinese-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Since 2005, the Pakistani state has waged a conventional war against the Baloch and has disappeared, tortured, and murdered Baloch ethnics who oppose the state’s policies. Pakistan claims that these Baloch activists are terrorists who enjoy support from India. While some of the Baloch dissidents do engage in terrorism (i.e. targeting Punjabi teachers and other civilians), Pakistan has not marshalled convincing evidence for its claim that India is behind the unrest in the province. (Pakistan claims that it captured an Indian spy in Balochistan in March 2016. Indian intelligence claim that the former naval officer — turned businessman — was abducted from Iran and that he was not actually a spy.)

    Pakistan’s army and the intelligence agencies it controls have also targeted civil society activists who report on human rights violations in Balochistan. In April 2015, Sabeen Mahmud, a prominent Pakistani social and human rights activist, was shot dead after she hosted an event in her Karachi café that discussed Balochistan’s “disappeared people.” Previously, the army pressured LUMS, a prestigious university in Lahore, to cancel a similar event intended to educate students about the state’s actions in Balochistan. The state has also brutalized other foes of CPEC in the northern areas of Gilgit-Baltistan.

    In August 2016, Pakistan passed a new law, the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016. This law broadened Pakistan’s ability to crackdown on its critics rather than terrorists and criminals. The law allows the government to “censor online content and to criminalize internet user activity under extremely broad and vague criteria. The law also sanctions government authorities to access data of internet users without judicial review or oversight.” While in principle this is a civilian affair, the government acquiesced to the ISI’s demand for “legal cover for action against those allegedly committing online crimes against the state and undermining the national security and [law makers] had to agree with the proposal.” Consistent with Pakistan’s war on civil society, this law is not being used to restrict the myriad Pakistani terrorists who avidly use social media to spread their messages of “jihad” and other violent fatuity.

    The first victims of this law were, in fact, civil society activists who were well-known for their reformist views exposited through social media. Pakistan’s security agencies disappeared Waqas Goraya and Asim Saeed on January 4, Salman Haider on January 6, and Ahmed Raza Naseer on January 7. Their “crimes” included promoting progressive, inclusive, and secular views that undermined the state-sponsored narrative of exclusivist definitions of Sunni Islam, support for Islamist terrorism and insurgency as tools of state policy, while also decrying the lack of protection for religious minorities and members of Muslim sects in Pakistan. To make matters worse, Pakistan’s religious fanatics have filed charges of blasphemy against these men. This effectively ensures that when these men are released, they will face a serious death threat. Persons in Pakistan accused of blasphemy are frequently murdered by vigilantes who are never punished for their bloody crimes.

    This is surely an underestimate of the numbers of persons taken by Pakistan’s agencies. Naseer was taken along with a friend who recently came from Holland. In August 2015, Pakistan disappeared Zeenat Shahzadi, a 24-year-old female reporter who had been investigating the case of Hamid Ansari, an Indian citizen who disappeared while in Pakistan in November 2012. In May 2011, Saleem Shahzad, a journalist who exposed security lapses as well as infiltration of the armed forces by the Islamists, was murdered by Pakistani intelligence. After these attacks, as well as an attack on a popular television host, Hamid Mir, dozens of journalists told Amnesty International about the threats they endured. According to Amnesty International:

    [J]ournalists are particularly at risk when exposing security lapses by the military, or the army’s alleged links to banned military groups such as the Taliban. Also highly sensitive are stories about abuses committed by security forces fighting separatist rebels in the province of Balochistan.

    Not only has Pakistan’s premiere intelligence agency waged a war on critics at home, they have also waged a war on critics abroad. In addition to threatening me with gang rape by an entire regiment in 2011 because they were unhappy with the research I was doing on the Pakistan Army, the ISI has waged a sustained information operations campaign against me, including this recent video. In February 2016, they placed an article in The News, accusing me of supporting militants in Balochistan. Also in February 2016, a known ISI-writer planted a story about me and my colleagues in the Pakistan Observer after Georgetown hosted Ambassador Husain Haqqani to discuss his most recent book. After I wrote about the ISI’s war on scholars, the Pakistan Observer removed the noxious and slanderous article. In addition, the Pakistan Embassy has insisted that neither Husain Haqqani nor myself be invited to the National Defense University (NDU) in Washington when Pakistan military delegations visit. Shockingly, the NDU acquiesced. These ruses are examples of the myriad efforts by Pakistan’s intelligence agencies to manipulate Pakistan’s print, radio, and televised media as a part of the state’s discourse construction and efforts to manage information produced about Pakistan abroad. In fact, the ISI, has a media management wing dedicated to such efforts.

    What Should the United States Do?

    At first blush, one may ask why is this America’s responsibility? The answer is simple: The United States has aided and abetted the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies through its ample provision of security assistance. It is therefore responsible for how these funds are used. Of the $33 billion spent on Pakistan since 2001, $22 billion went to security assistance and military payments through the lucrative Coalitions Support Fund. In addition, the United States is supposed to deny security assistance to security forces that engage in human rights abuses per the Leahy Amendment. According to current American law, the U.S. government is required to impose Leahy Amendment sanctions on any unit engaging in human rights violations. Despite outrageous human rights abuses by Pakistan’s military, the United States has turned a blind eye with one exception in 2010 when a video showing mass execution went viral. However, the import of this punishment was obviated by the simultaneous announcement of a $2 billion aid package. The United States has fostered the environment of impunity in which the army and its intelligence organizations currently operate.

    Given my belief that the United States has done much to encourage the conditions in which the army operates, it needs to act swiftly to address the immediate crisis of these activists whose lives are in jeopardy. The United States needs to get these men released and arrange for their safe resettlement out of Pakistan. With blasphemy charges hanging over their head, they are unlikely to survive long even if the ISI were to release them.

    Next, the United States needs to punish Pakistan’s armed forces and intelligence agencies for these and other crimes such as the unending campaign of violence in Balochistan.

    During his confirmation hearing, Secretary of Defense James Mattis questioned the wisdom of placing conditions on security assistance to Pakistan. Mattis argued that conditionalities have not incentivized positive Pakistani behavioral changes. This is a dangerous conclusion. The real problem, in fact, is that most of the assistance has not been conditioned. In other words, Pakistan has suffered no significant penalties for its suite of noxious policies most notably Islamist terrorism under its nuclear umbrella that endanger the region and the world. If the past is prologue, the new administration may not learn the drivers of Pakistan’s behavior until it is too late.

    In light of Pakistan’s persistent intransigence, the time has long come to cease reimbursing Pakistan for its security operations. Pakistan is obligated under U. N. Security Council resolution 1373 to ensure that terrorists do not act on its soil. Why should the United States reimburse Pakistan for following through on this obligation? Moreover, such payments do not incentivize Pakistan to shut down all terrorists operating on its soil. Rather, these disbursements incentivize Pakistan to continue recruiting new terrorists who will do its bidding in India and Afghanistan, while conducting partial operations against those that oppose the state.

    Second, the United States should restrict its security assistance to Pakistan to include only the narrowly selected weapons systems and training programs that are best suited for internal security operations which offer no significant added capability in Pakistan’s perduring interest in fighting India. Given that the majority of American and allied deaths in Afghanistan are due to the Pakistan’s proxies (i.e. the Taliban, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba), how can the United States continue viewing Pakistan as an ally? The evidence is clear: Pakistan’s army and the intelligence agencies it oversees are enemies of the United States and should be treated as such.

    Finally, the United States should apply Leahy Amendment sanctions to those units that have engaged in human rights abuses. The United States should work through the defense attachés at post to vigorously collect information on those units engaging in these abuses. There is no question that such abuses are ongoing. The only question is which units are doing it. The U.S. government should take its own laws seriously and apply them as required. It is simply not acceptable to continue ignoring this legal obligation while pandering to Pakistan’s security forces and intelligence agencies whose perfidy is illimitable.

    The Pakistan military is waging a war on democracy at home and wars in Afghanistan and India with the subsidy of the United States. So far, Washington has shown nothing but pusillanimity and cupidity in contending with Pakistan even though Pakistan is the root cause of American failures in Afghanistan as well as insecurity throughout South Asia and beyond. Unless the United States stops somnambulating in its management of the threats that Pakistan’s army and ISI pose to itself and to its neighbors, more people will die. And, Washington will bear considerable responsibility for those deaths.



    Christine Fair is an associate professor in the Security Studies Program in Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She is the author of Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War and co-editor of Pakistan’s Enduring Challenges.
     
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  4. VCheng
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    VCheng RIDER THINK TANK

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    A really deep article. Pakistanis must start such a national dialogue if their dreams are going to have chance of ever being materialized:

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1312746/a-secretive-conversation

    A secretive conversation
    CYRIL ALMEIDA



    THE first, tentative steps towards the final frontier — dismantling the infrastructure of jihad in toto — or an all-too-familiar false start?

    The detention of Hafiz Saeed and co could be either.

    But it is also something else: a signal that the long, state-led conversation of what to do with the good jihadis has begun.

    Cloaked in secrecy, debated by vested interests and held, potentially, on terms of compromise rather than a bold reimagining of the Pakistani project, it could go horribly wrong.

    To understand why, we have to start with the war against the bad jihadis. Terrible as they were and long as the fight against them will be, the bad jihadis got it wrong on three counts: utility, survivability and strategy.

    The strategy was flawed because with a relatively small militant footprint the bad jihadis tried to overthrow the state. And while the state’s response was muddled for years, the state had disproportionately larger resources in what was a prematurely imposed fight for survival.

    From there, with their small militant footprint and no real hook in society — no mosque-madressah-social welfare network to sustain ideology and attract recruits — the mass, muscular survivability of the bad jihadis was a low probability outcome.

    And then there was the lack of utility — repurpose and redirect the bad jihadis to where?

    Afghanistan was the only possibility and it may have made some sense — the bad jihadis were predominantly Pakhtun, while the Punjabi among them were familiar with the Afghan jihad.

    The conversation about what to do with the good jihadis isn’t going to be held by the average Pakistani.



    But the problem was obvious: the Afghan Taliban already existed and were doing a fine enough job on their own, while the large-scale foreign — US/Western — presence made the deliberate redirection to Afghanistan a non-starter. Even chronic risk-takers here are not suicidal.

    Bad strategy, low survivability and no utility made the bad jihadis the obvious candidates for an early demise — or at least a vast diminishment of their numbers.

    The worrying thing is that none of that applies to the good jihadis. And institutional memory — both civilian and uniformed — may favour the worst-case outcome in the great conversation that has been opened: what to do with the good jihadis: merge them back into society or dissolve them altogether?

    Given the narrow, state-led confines in which the conversation will take place, the institutional — state — view is fundamental.

    And from inside the state, a seemingly coherent story can be constructed.

    To the Kashmir-centric, anti-India jihadi lot, a debt of gratitude is owed: theirs is the unfinished business of Partition, a noble cause for which they have fought bravely.

    A debt like that cannot simply be wiped away.

    With the Kashmir-centric, anti-India lot, a continuing reality cannot be ignored: they have not attacked us; they come to heel when ordered; and they remain the one thing that drives India crazy.

    A reality like that can’t easily be ignored.

    And with the Kashmir-centric, anti-India lot, flexible strategy has ensured survivability, even if their utility may have eroded.

    The strategy has adapted: from the large-scale, full-fledged mobilisation of the ’90s to a drip-drip interspersed by the occasional spectacular attack.

    The changed strategy has been complemented by a masterful approach to survival: build a vast mosque-madressah-social welfare network that supplies recruits, yes, but also puts hooks deep into society. So even if someone wants to rip those hooks out, they will have to tear open flesh and the social fabric itself.

    And while the good jihadis’ utility may be vastly diminished — hence the opening of the conversation in the first place — the debt of the past and reality of the present are significant.

    Stack those up — strategy, survivability and (past) utility of the good jihadis — against the conversation that has now been opened, what to do about the good jihadis?

    There are, once the nascent conversation turns to strategic choices, only two realistic options.

    Either dissolve the groups — dismantle their infrastructure, dislodge their leaderships, and disarm and disband their cadres — or merge them with society — the mythical mainstreaming, whereby the groups retool and repurpose themselves to serve society, through politics and social welfare.

    If you are the average citizen — or at least the average citizen who believes in a certain kind of Pakistan — the costs and benefits are easy enough to calculate.

    Dissolution — the end of the existence of the groups in any and all forms — will impose a high cost upfront, but will put Pakistan back on track to becoming the country it is supposed to be.

    But the conversation about what to do with the good jihadis isn’t going to be held by the average Pakistani, it will be held by the state. And the state’s calculus is necessarily different:


    It has been served loyally in the past by the good jihadis; the security apparatus is battle hardened, but the state war weary; and merger is a helluva lot simpler to effect than dissolution.

    But therein lies the problem: dissolution versus merger is not a choice that can be revisited easily, if at all.

    Look how difficult it has been to even begin the conversation: more than two decades since the savagery and regional instability of the mid-’90s; more than a decade and a half since 9/11; and nearly a decade since Mumbai.

    Choose mainstreaming today and dissolution may never be an option again. And eventually survival, post-mainstreaming, of the good jihadis could become a threat to the survival of the state that the bad jihadis could never become.

    The more secretive, the more state-led the conversation, the greater the potential threat to all of us.

    The writer is a member of staff.

    cyril.a@gmail.com
     
  5. Hellfire
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    Hellfire Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Well written. Sums the situation up quite well.
     
  6. VCheng
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    VCheng RIDER THINK TANK

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    But the real question is how can the deep "State" be suitably encouraged to come to the correct decision for the country?
     
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  7. Ripcord322
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    Ripcord322 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Deep article indeed...
    But we know that...

    Certain(/*Almost Everyone*/) People there be like...

    "Cyril is a RAW agent....He is also responsible for dawn leaks...This is just a foreign attempt to malign Pakistan..."

    For all we know....No One will pay any heed to this article....

    We can all...Just hope for change.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
  8. MilSpec
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    MilSpec Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    IN my opinion, the deep state will just play the waiting game. The attrition both civilian and military is an acceptable price for the deepstate to pay as it's not accountable to any of it's actions.

    This is my view, Pakistani deep state has few distinct variety of Mujhahideens, The premium variety is the battle hardened Darul Uloom Haqqania alumni, these still have their allegiance to taliban leadership, Hekymetyaar or Haqqanis. There pyramid marketing of jihad has resulted into the current young afghan taliban, that walks and talks like the originals. Local commanders for these groups are handled by the Deep state.

    Spec Ops Mujhahideen: is the Kashmiri Mujhideen, trained equipped and directly overseen by the ISI, Lashkar-e-taiba is the umbrella agency which has a full fledged middle-eastern and state funding. It's own recruiting and training wings, and can sub-contract for Afghan taliban from time to time.At time of it's formation most of the operations were from the kunnar provices, but give they were moved to pakistan controlled kashmir, the level of logistical involvement of Deep state is maximum in the case of Lashkar Umbrella agency. Lashkar itself has it's own intel wing which regularly collaborates and now fully provides training and support to recurits from smaller kashmir oriented mujhideen goups like harkat ul muj,Hizb ul Muj, JeM.

    Flex Force Mujhahideen: During Kargil, one of the experiments the Pakistani deep state indulged in was using some of the Mujhideens from afghanistan in Kashmir, Al Badr was Pashtun/Punjabi group that primarily fought under hekymetyaar (also the one which massively took part in the hazara/dostum troop cleansing in kandahar), and were dropped into Kashmir.

    Tertiary Mujhahideen: Independent Mullahs with autonomy, especially the alumni of Jamia Uloom-ul-Islamia, tended to be a bit too islamic and less Pakistani, the progression of this though process created excellent Afghan commanders, or independent mujhideen commanders who were a bit too islamic for taste of the Pakistani deep state, dub: TTP.

    One thing most people forget is that asymmetric assets are extremely cost effective resource for fighting. And the current batch of Mujhideens, especially TTP and likes do not pose any significant challenge to Pakistani Military, but the other good terrorists, are excellent resources to modulate the heat both on Afghanistan and India.

    Losses that the Pakistani state takes, are not same as the losses for the Pakistani Deep State. The well being of the state is not necessarily the well being of the deep state. On contrary the deep state thrives on the losses of the Pakistani state, it gives it the freedom to control the national narrative, identify the target it pleases, and consolidate it's power o the political process when it deems necessary.
     
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  9. Hellfire
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    Hellfire Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    The encouragement can only be from the civil society itself - they have the most to loose from the present trajectory that the nation is on. Coercion will play a role along that. I predict economic sanctions on Pakistan sometime down the line.

    The rationale for my logic remains what I have been predicting since Aug - Sept last year - China - CPEC-South China Sea.
     
  10. AbRaj
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    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Interestingly I have watched several documentaries about Talibans in Afghanistan and noted that Quetta (and nearby areas) are regarded as highly prestigious for training and logistic support , and those that returned from there (both native Pakistani and Afghan) are seen as superior to normal militants. They are often given higher rankings. Evern otherwise trusted local(journalist) was not allowed to interview them.
     
  11. VCheng
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    VCheng RIDER THINK TANK

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    And as long as that unfortunate state of affairs exists, no meaningful change can be expected in Pakistan's policies, stated and de facto.

    That is why there is a war being waged on caging up what remains of civil society in Pakistan by preventing any independent thought processes. And if that does not work, the good old standby of enforced disappearance certainly does.

    Actually, those who control the more militant factions in leading assaults are the ones that go on to bigger responsibilities. Just think of how many budding General Hamid Guls are being nurtured right now.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
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  12. AbRaj
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    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    I don't know sir. But it has been so long they are playing "the game"
    First America bankrolled them now China.
    Hope it will end sooner for greater good of civilians on both sides.

    BTW I'm noticing the desperate attempts to highlight "The Kashmir Cause" by marking back to back documentary , songs and now movie by ISPR (and I admit they are good at it) as well as assuring its role in "the peace dialogue" between unconcerned parties like China, Russia etc .
    They are at something.
     
  13. VCheng
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    VCheng RIDER THINK TANK

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    The attempts that you describe as desperate are only for internal consumption to keep the faithful in line and suitably riled up, that is all. The international audience sees through such crude material instantly. The best weapon India has in this matter is its legal standing.
     
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  14. AbRaj
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    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    One thing is sure we are once again going to face the brunt of Pakistan's new found (after USA abandoned them) weapons. Its all 1965 again
     
  15. VCheng
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    VCheng RIDER THINK TANK

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    Since 1965, much has changed. Nuclear weapons on both sides will prevent any large-scale war, and Pakistan cannot go on using proxies as it has been until now without consequences for itself. The only way India will lose this tussle is if it fails to govern its portion of Kashmir properly.
     

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