NSA TALKS CANCELLED: POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT OF PAKISTAN IS FURTHER WEAKENED

What happened to the proposed talks between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan was not a surprise.

In fact, it was only waiting to happen because Pakistan was not in a position to dictate terms of the talks. And at the same time, it could not send home the message that it bowed before India by agreeing to an agenda that didn’t include talks on Jammu and Kashmir.

Given the stated position of this government, the Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance government, we have reasons to believe J&K cannot be on any agenda of talks where different factions of All Party Hurriyat Conference are invited by Pakistan as the third party – at least till Narendra Modi is the prime minister of India.

India, as the doctrine goes, doesn’t consider J&K a disputed territory and the present government has been, ever since its inaugural, particularly emphatic about expressing it.

The bilateral talks between India and Pakistan were broken in August 2014 when India had cancelled Foreign Secretary level talks on issue of Pakistan being adamant on talking to Hurriyat leaders.

So, obviously, if Pakistan was serious about talks, if it had accepted to go ahead with ‘now cancelled’ NSAs meeting, it had to keep in mind that why the talks last year were cancelled in the first place.

For the BJP, political analysis in India (and Pakistan) was growing more and more vocal about the possible stand taken by the NDA government after Pakistan invited Hurriyat leaders for talks even this time.

When a round of talk was killed last year on same issue, why to reintroduce that element again?

Because, either Pakistan wanted to kill the talks again – with its inborn compulsions to run away from words of logic and geopolitical pragmatism – or – it wanted to send home a message (to its Army) that it was dealing with India on its own terms – and so was a dominant negotiating partner – in case if India accepted Hurriyat as a party in negotiations – that meant Kashmir was on the agenda – something that India had refused from the day one – since Ufa.

India was never going to accept these terms, even if it didn’t set any precondition other that those agreed at Ufa – reflected by the joint statement of both countries.

Pakistan’s political leadership, under international pressure, most importantly from the US, willingly or unwillingly, agreed to restart the talks and India took a leading step here by inviting Pakistan.

But Pakistan tried to exploit even this move by propagandizing that ‘India was compelled to come to the talking table’ – and that Pakistan did not blink first.

Now, we know, the world community knows, and even many in Pakistan, including its military and political leadership know, that Pakistan is no match for India. India has moved much ahead and is a global economic powerhouse now. Its scientific and defence prowess are years ahead than Pakistan.

Pakistan, therefore, cannot set terms, other than agreed, while negotiating with India. That reflected in Sartaj Aziz’s presser where he clarified that he was visiting India for the talks even if he was not hopeful of any outcome.

Pakistan’s problem – primarily of its military establishment – and therefore of its political establishment – is – that its foreign policy has been India centric ever since the country came into existence in 1947.

And the cancelled NSA talks show nothing has changed on that front – even now.

In fact, India was always in a different, positive league than Pakistan. But we, politically, mismanaged the whole affair, with every subsequent government giving Pakistan legroom to exercise and promote its propaganda voices on different global platforms. We allowed Pakistan to even outmanoeuvre us on many times.

But, it had to end somewhere. And the process has begun – even if the realization has come very late.

India, like China, is imperative for global economy now. Yes, Pakistan, too, is a nuclear power, but its security establishment is far superior, innovative and indigenous and is accustomed to work under a democratic leadership.

India is asserting its rightful position on the global stage now and the world is taking note of it. India’s neighbours (excluding China and Pakistan) see India now as a senior partner that gives them due bilateral importance.

The problem with Pakistan’s political leadership is – it cannot say no even to the Hurriyat leadership – we all remember the serious note taken by Pakistan after Nawaz Sharif didn’t meet them during his India visit last year in May 2014 or when Ufa statement didn’t mention Kashmir this year – then how can it stand before Pakistan’s military – the institution that wields real power there?

Pakistan’s Army didn’t want these talks to happen, as evident by escalation in incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistan after the Ufa meeting. And the talks ultimately, expectedly, didn’t happen.

It has further weakened the political establishment in Pakistan.

Hurriyat has no significance for India. The party with its different factions doesn’t matter even in Jammu and Kashmir’s politics. Jammu and Kashmir has elected government and people’s participation, over the years, in the electoral process, has increased quite impressively, in spite of the continued run of cross-border terrorism by Pakistan, trying to incite separatist voices.

Hurriyat, in fact, is a ploy by Pakistan’s Army to keep another of its anti-India ploy running – the anti-India rhetoric based on Kashmir – an eternal lifeline ‘sort of thing’ for Pakistan’s Army.

And Pakistan’s political establishment, irrespective of the realpolitik, is forced to follow whims of this ploy.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

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CEASEFIRE VIOLATIONS: IT WILL ULTIMATELY HARM PAK ARMY

Yesterday, India had called Pakistan’s High Commissioner to lodge ‘strong’ protest on ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir that caused six civilian deaths on the day.

Naturally, expectedly, Pakistan had to reply in the same diplomatic language and today, it called India’s Deputy High Commissioner to lodge its ‘strong’ protest.

And nothing is going to move except these diplomatic gestures, like the cases have been between India and Pakistan where India has been patiently calling Pakistan to take action against anti-India activities from its soil, like the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 or like Dawood Ibrahim having a safe haven in Pakistan. And these are not isolated examples.

Pakistan has never taken these demands seriously. Because its rulers derive their sanctity from their anti-India rhetoric.

Pakistan being an Army ruled country for most of its independent history has historically been anti-India, fighting and losing wars since 1948. Pakistan’s Army, in order to remain the most powerful institution in the country, has always resorted to anti-India propaganda to suppress and sideline political voices. The violence in the aftermath of the India-Pakistan partition gave Army a powerful tool to instil fear in Pakistani masses by name-calling India.

And Pakistan’s political establishment, including its political parties, that was dependent on Pakistan’s Army for its public life, just followed the suit, willingly or unwillingly.

So, even if Pakistan tries to sound moving ahead politically on its various issues with India, its military does the otherwise, following its own agenda, that is Pakistan’s main agenda irrespective of what Mr. Nawaz Sharif thinks and irrespective of what his ministers convey.

Any event of political ramification, including India-Pakistan dialogue, has been held hostage to this narrowcasting of interests by the omnipotent (in Pakistan) Pakistan’s Army – including the India-Pakistan Joint Statement at Ufa last month.

People of Pakistan are not inherently India haters or bashers – success of India’s cultural products, especially movies, shows. A report in The Express Tribune today carried an analytical peace on how Akshay Kumar’s ‘Brothers’ has won over the box office in Pakistan and how ‘it has dealt a blow to the Pakistani movie releases of the week’. And ‘Brothers’ is not the first case.

Also, in India, people are running a campaign to raise Rs. 10 Lakh for treatment of a girl from Karachi in a Mumbai hospital.

Political process and India-Pakistan dialogues are inimical to the Pakistan Army’s interest (and to the political class that survives and thrives on Pakistan’s Army) because it will lead to an increased people to people movement between two countries who shared a common land till 1947. The patch of the land is still the same and so are the cultural elements.

An increasing pro-India sentiment, that can gradually happen with normal bilateral ties and increased cultural exchanges, will weaken Pakistan’s Army as people there would legitimately be questioning its dominance in the public sphere – a bane for any democracy. Army there would never want it to happen.

So, diplomatic protests, thought different means, will continue. And along with them Pakistan’s proxy war in India – with ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

What is inimical to the long-term interests of Pakistan’s Army is that India now has started replying to Pakistan in its Pakistan’s own language – inflicting heavy damages something that Pakistan’s Army and media cannot report.

And as Pakistan is no match to India – and as India is poised to become a global power from a regional player – and as Pakistan’s Army cannot engage India in a direct fight – or cannot harm India’s interests strategically – as India’s defence capabilities are superior than Pakistan – and as Pakistan cannot do more than standalone terror strikes and ceasefire violations – the Pakistan Army is bound to suffer losses in the days to come.

And it has already begun.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

INDIA’S HOT PURSUIT IN MYANMAR: PAKISTAN OVERREACTS

India says it did enter the Myanmarese territory to carry out attacks on terrorists camps there, believed to be of the outfits behind the June 4 terror strike in Chandel that left 18 Indian Army soldiers dead.

The professional conduct needed the Indian establishment to go silent about it. The Indian Army did so, not mentioning ‘entering in Myanmar’ even once during its presser and in the press-release. It maintained ‘covertness’ of the ‘covert operation’.

But the political establishment could not do so. The ruling block saw a good political branding opportunity here to claim ‘paradigm shift in India’s anti-terror policy’.

Even if it is in the realm of ‘policy debates’ and, ideally, the political establishment should have chosen the policy followed by the Indian Army, the happenings on that front are contrary, and the Opposition is targeting it.

But it is not just in India that we are seeing intense activity over it.

Across the border, in Pakistan, India’s hot-pursuit is generating much political concern. In India, the Opposition is opposing the way the government is publicising it and trying to take credit for it. In Pakistan, the establishment there is thinking that what would happen if India decides to carry a Myanmar like operation in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Pakistani territories along the International Border.

Even if that is not so easy. India and Pakistan ties, that have been historically hostile, are witnessing a low turn these days while India shares friendly foreign relations with Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. Narendra Modi has taken steps to improve ties and has been reciprocated.

India is a much larger and stronger country than Pakistan and the gap is widening. It is happening in a country where anti-India stand and rhetoric has been the lifeline of military and political establishments.

So, even if going inside PoK or Pakistani territory may not be on Indian agenda, the response by the Pakistani establishments is like ‘India is planning an imminent attack in the border territories of Pakistan or areas under Pakistan’s control’.

And everyone in Pakistan’s establishment – from its Prime Minister – to its Army Chief – to its former President – are issuing statements and reacting in the way so as to hide their frustration behind words.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

Go through these:

Nawaz Sharif – Prime Minister, Pakistan

June 11 – Recent statements by Indian ministers have hampered our relations with India. The entire nation is dismayed over these irresponsible and imprudent statements by the Indian leadership. Despite these statements we will continue our efforts towards good neighbourly relations but they need to be reciprocated. (The Express Tribune)

June 11 – Pakistan will protect its territory at all costs and this message should be heard loud and clear. (The Express Tribune)

June 10 – Amidst a fresh salvo of hostile rhetoric from New Delhi, Nawaz said that the recent provocative statements of Indian leaders are ‘disappointing’. He called upon the United Nations Security Council to ensure implementation of its resolutions to resolve the festering dispute over the Himalayan region of Kashmir. (The Express Tribune)

Raheel Sharif – Pakistan’s Army Chief

June 10 – Taking strong exception to a series of threats from India, formation commanders’ conference presided over by Army Chief General Raheel Sharif made it clear, Pakistan was ready to defeat Indian ‘designs’ and defend the territorial integrity. “The forum took serious notice of the recent Indian hostile rhetoric coupled with covert and overt actions to destabilize Pakistan,” the military’s media wing said. It was termed as highly regrettable that Indian politicians not only indulge in actions that are in violation of the United Nations’ Charter, but also take pride in claiming their interference in the internal affairs of other states, it added. The forum was given comprehensive briefings on security environment and professional issues. (The Nation)

Resolution of Pakistan’s Senate and National Assembly

June 11 – The Senate today passed a unanimous resolution strongly condemning the recent disturbing pattern of provocative and hostile statements by Indian leaders including threatening attacks against Pakistani territory. In response to another question, the Spokesperson said that Pakistan is fully capable of defending its territorial integrity against any foreign Aggression. (Radio Pakistan)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan

June 10 – In response to another question, the Spokesperson said that Pakistan is fully capable of defending its territorial integrity against any foreign Aggression.

Parvez Musharraf – Former Pakistan President and Former Army Chief General

June 10 – Deal with them with sovereign equality, my experience is they will further suppress if we back off. Their stance is offensive one. We do not want to use nuclear capability but if our existence comes under threat, who do we have these nuclear weapons for? If I say in Ch Shujaat’s style, do we have nukes saved to be used on Shab-e-Baraat? (Dunya News)

June 10 – “Neither the Pakistani armed forces, nor the people here are wearing bangles. This is Pakistan, not Myanmar. Modi’s presentation of the Fall of Dhaka picture to Bangladeshi PM and his open admission of Indian interference to internally destabilize Pakistan has exposed India’s true face. It clearly shows that India is intended to establish its supremacy by interfering in neighboring countries, but it must not forget that this is Pakistan. (Ary News)

Chaudhry Nisar – Interior Minister, Pakistan

June 10 – Responding to a statement issued by Indian Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said that Pakistan wanted peace in the region yet its friendly overtures should not be confused as a sign of weakness. Chaudhry Nisar said that India should not mistake Pakistan for Myanmar as its armed forces possess the capability to give a befitting reply to any Indian act of aggression.Lambasting the norm of repeated aggressive statements from the other side of the border, Chaudhry Nisar said that the Indian leadership should stop day-dreaming and face reality. (The News International)

Sartaz Aziz – Advisor to Pakistan’s Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security

June 10 – The premier’s senior aide affirmed Pakistan will take all possible measures to unveil India’s role in the breakup of East Pakistan in 1971. “We will take all possible steps to expose India’s role in the breakup of East Pakistan in 1971 and its threat to destabilise Pakistan through terrorism,” Sartaj Aziz told the Senate on Wednesday. Aziz further said, “The government has taken strong notice of Modi’s statement in which he acknowledged his country’s role in the events of 1971 in the then-East Pakistan.” (The Express Tribune)

PAKISTAN’S TALKS AND J&K GOVERNMENT AND BJP’S POLITICAL TRANSITION

Two developments that are intricately interwoven around Jammu & Kashmir, India-Pakistan bilateral ties, BJP’s politics and political identity and National Democratic Alliance government are taking some curvaceous churning these days.

The BJP and Narendra Modi have had a reflection of nationalist pro-Hindutva politics with a tough stance on dialogue with Pakistan.

But in the changed political scenario, with the responsibility of running the world’s largest democracy, any hard-line stance needs moderation. In fact, the stance needs some fundamental changes to redefine what constitutes nationalism. And it requires effectively nullifying the pro-Hindutva reflections here.

The BJP and Narendra Modi realize it. The party, along with its most popular and successful leader of the time, has to go through this transition, something on the lines of having a ‘nationalist, secular identity’ with a global vision of being a responsible world power. And whatever we think or have discourses on, the global community along with its world powers, still want India and Pakistan to talk, even if bilaterally, over J&K. Yes, it’s true that Pakistan has lost most of its currency on the issue, but it is still some years away that the world finally discards Pakistan’s hollow rhetoric on it.

So, there are different approaches to the two core problems that have shaped the BJP’s politics over the years – the party’s stand on Jammu & Kashmir and on dialogue with India Pakistan.

The ups and downs in talks with Pakistan are its truest reflections. First inviting Nawaz Sharif, even with other SAARC head of states, to his government’s inauguration, then suspending India-Pakistan Foreign Secretary level talks on Pakistan’s High Commissioner’s meet with J&K separatists, then again pushing for the talks with FS S. Jaishankar’s Pakistan visit beginning tomorrow, even if it is part of an extended trip, the ‘SAARC Yatra’.

And these reflections are further reflected in the prolonged discussions on government formation in J&K. The PDP and the BJP are two extremes in terms of ideologies and it took months of negotiations to arrive at some deal to form the coalition government in the state with BJP MLAs taking ministerial oath for the first time. Everything about this alliance has been uneasy so far, including its beginning with the chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed thanking Pakistan, separatists and militants for ‘allowing’ peaceful elections in the state.

But, these may be written off as the initial hiccups of some unusual, uneasy formations, that if the BJP pulls of effectively, will become milestones in redefining its political identity and thus its political space in the India’s socio-political future.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

INDIA CAN ‘FORCE’ PEACE AND TRANQUILLITY ALONG ITS BORDERS WITH PAKISTAN, WORLD COMMUNITY KNOWS IT

India and Pakistan because cannot be brought to peace because the ‘disquiet’ is always Pakistan provoked; because of Pakistan’s belligerent ruling class gets its lease of life from its military that in turn draws authority in the country due to its anti-India stand exploiting the deep chasms of Hindu-Muslim divide across the border.

India is undoubtedly an emerging world power, already the world’s third largest economy and projected to be having the largest middle class by 2030, is a place the world economy is looking up to. No other country including China has the edge of a huge consuming middle class that can satiate the needs of the world’s capital flow. Its market is going to transcend all and the world powers know it.

India is also the world’s largest democracy, a responsible democracy, a democracy that has the potential to play the role of power packed export house of talent, a democracy that is space power, and that is a military power of growing prowess.

Why would it engage in hostilities with a small country like Pakistan when it knows a peaceful Pakistan is good for its own growth?

And India can handle bullies like Pakistan on its own the world community is increasingly realizing it, irrespective of how many times, including today’s, Pakistan pleads for world intervention in the Kashmir issue.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chided Pakistan reminding the neighbouring nation of the futility of raising the K-issue on international forums saying a UN platform would only derail the process and no one in the world community reacted on it. That should have been the clear message to Pakistan. Because the world community knows India will not provoke hostilities on its own.

But then, Pakistan’s political leadership has had no spine and has had a skewed character crushed under the iron-grip of a shadowy military that has nothing but anti-India rhetoric and machinery to draw its sanctity from.

Conflicts like India-Pakistan border issue are bilateral in nature and subside with the increased world stature of one of the parties involved and that would ultimately happen in this case. India is becoming bigger while Pakistan is facing a worsening civil war in its restive provinces and terror threats across the country.

At the same time, Pakistan is seen as ‘terror sponsoring and exporting’ nation-state and a forced peace in Pakistan, sooner or later, would become a world liability, something a must element for the world peace. Yes, no one can say when. Probably, when the terrorists would threaten the Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal with their direct reach.

Till then, India can maintain peace and tranquillity along its borders with Pakistan. And India doesn’t need to go over the top for it because Kashmir may be an issue of survival for Pakistan’s military and politicians but it is no issue at all in India, in spite of the decades of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in the state.

Use of restrained force has become a necessity in these days of state-sponsored terrorism and transnational terror outfits and that is what India did during this round of unprovoked ceasefire violations targeting and killing civilians and the world community knows it.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/