India-Pakistan shadow boxing (Part-II)

July 29th, 2010 - 12:10 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban By B.I. Saini

It is obvious that Pakistan has no intention of stopping the use of terror to push its agenda. It only wants to use the dialogue with India to achieve the goals it could not achieve through several wars and conflicts, open and through proxy, with India. And, there are no rewards for guessing what it wants - grab Kashmir from India.

Significantly, the Pakistan Army and its chief, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, who has now been given a three year extension, played a major role in ensuring that there was not much of a forward movement at the July 15 Foreign Ministers’ meeting.

From all reports, it is clear that General Kayani’s intervention resulted in Pakistan insisting on a timeframe for settling the Siachen, Kashmir and Sir Creek issues, which led to the virtual collapse of the Islamabad talks.

Both India and Pakistan are now saying that there has been no breakdown in the dialogue and the possibility of the next round taking place in New Delhi by the end of the year cannot be ruled out.

And even before that, there is a possibility that Krishna and Qureshi may meet in New York in September on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly session.

Pakistan is ostensibly helping the United States in countering the Taliban in Afghanistan, but at the same time using its spy agency, the ISI to supply arms and other assistance to insurgent groups targeting the allied forces in that country.

This has been fully exposed in the classified military documents put out on the Internet by an organization called WikiLeaks. They show that elements of the Pakistan intelligence agency have been working alongside the Taliban, the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Al-Qaeda to plan attacks on allied forces in Afghanistan and also on Indian targets.

One of the documents released on the Internet shows that the ISI helped the Lashkar in the terror strike on the Indian Embassy in Kabul on July 7, 2008, which killed 58 people, including senior diplomatic officials. It is apparent that while claiming to cooperate with countries like India and the United States, the Pakistan Government and the ISI have been helping terrorist groups seek ways to harm American and Indian interests and attack their facilities.

Instead of taking action against Pakistan for its involvement in the attacks on allied forces in Afghanistan, the United States has been stepping up military and other support for Islamabad. Even after the WikiLeaks expose, the US is trying to find out who leaked the classified documents rather than take action to rectify the sad state of affairs, which they reveal.

It is always good to keep lines of communication open and there would be no harm in leaders and officials of India and Pakistan meeting again. But India would do well not to pitch its expectations from any talks with Pakistan too high.

There is no sign that there will be a change in that scenario any time soon. Pakistan is not going to give up use of terrorism to push its agenda.

This was evident when, coinciding with the Islamabad talks, Pakistan resorted to one of its biggest attempts in recent times to push terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir. It also extended support –motivational as well as financial - for the stone throwing incidents in Kashmir.

The objective was to vitiate the atmosphere in the Kashmir valley, which had earlier witnessed an unprecedented rush of tourists signaling return of normalcy, and use it as a bargaining chip at the Islamabad talks.

India should indeed talk to Pakistan, but it would be unwise to expect much from the dialogue, given the present mood of the real movers and shakers in Islamabad. (ANI)

(Mr. B.I. Saini is a political commentator)

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