ISI certain to take advantage of Kashmir unrest: expertAugust 19th, 2008 - 7:27 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) Pakistan’s spy agency ISI is sure to take advantage of the “volatile situation” in Jammu and Kashmir if India does not defuse the crisis in the state soon, a leading Indian American analyst said here Tuesday.“Will the ISI try to take advantage of this volatile and potentially volcanic situation? I have no doubt they will,” Sumit Ganguly, professor of political science and director of research at the Centre on American and Global Security, Indiana University, said here.
“It’s in vital interest of India to defuse the situation in Kashmir. Before long, the issue will be internationalised. As long as this pot is on boil, the capacity for mischief (on part of the ISI) will be boundless,” Ganguly said.
His reference was to the surge of separatist sentiments in the Kashmir Valley in the aftermath of a row over the transfer of government land to a Hindu shrine.
He was delivering the Eminent Persons’ Lecture on the “Political transition in Pakistan and future of India-Pakistan relations” at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), India’s premier think tank on security issues.
The lecture, which was planned quite some time back, came only a day after the resignation of Pervez Musharraf as the president of Pakistan Monday that imparted it an added relevance to it.
Ganguly argued that although Pakistan’s preoccupation with domestic problems will inhibit adventurism against India, the ruling coalition is likely to seek an external scapegoat if it feels besieged. “And what better issue than Kashmir to whip nationalistic frenzy,” he stressed.
“Domestic tensions must be curbed. The sentiments of both Jammu and the Valley have to be addressed. Some semblance of normalcy has to be restored,” Ganguly said while acknowledging “a string of mistakes by the Indian state” in Kashmir over the years that has created the present crisis.
Ganguly, a South Asia expert and the author of “Conflict Unending: India-Pakistan Tensions Since 1947” and “The Crisis in Kashmir: Portents of War, Hopes of Peace”, underscored the increasing influence of the military-ISI axis in driving Pakistan’s foreign policy on Afghanistan, Kashmir and nuclear issues.
He also envisaged growing political instability in Pakistan in the days to come which will impinge on the tempo of the peace process between the two countries.
“Much will depend on to what extent Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party, and Nawaz Sharif, leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, can move beyond their past,” he said.
“Neither of them has any experience in running a coalition. If they continue to squabble, this coalition will unravel in a year,” he said, indicating that the peace process is likely to be slowed down in the days to come.
He, however, advised India to continue to work with the civilian regime in Pakistan and warned that any other course will be counter-productive.
- ISI has a budget of $300-400 million, 4,000 employees - Aug 08, 2012
- Efforts on for political solution in Kashmir: Omar - Sep 06, 2010
- Resolve Kashmir issue peacefully: UN chief - Apr 27, 2012
- All-party team in Kashmir, gets cold shoulder from separatists (Afternoon Lead) - Sep 20, 2010
- Pakistan continues to be international migraine: Albright - Jun 26, 2012
- Is Pakistan Army hindering peace with India? (Comment) - May 08, 2010
- Nothing substantial in 8-point Kashmir package: CPI-M - Oct 06, 2010
- SAARC's success depends on India, Pakistan: National Conference - Aug 26, 2012
- With Pakistan watching, India firming up big plans on Afghanistan - Nov 01, 2011
- India-Pakistan ties: More than good looks needed (Comment) - Jul 30, 2011
- Factors behind the India-Pakistan logjam (Comment) - Jul 17, 2010
- National Conference, Congress fuelling trouble in valley: BJP - Aug 21, 2010
- Kashmiri traders want more of India-Pakistan trade - Jul 28, 2011
- Jammu-Srinagar highway shut to prevent BJP march (Lead) - Jan 25, 2011
- Meeting all-party delegation futile: Geelani - Sep 19, 2010