India’s patience wearing thin as Pak coming apart: NYTApril 16th, 2009 - 1:01 pm ICT by ANI
New York, Apr.16 (ANI): India’s patience is wearing thin as it watches Pakistan shrink and as “peace deals” proliferate which cede pockets of sovereignty to the Taliban, believes a strategic expert.
According to Parag Khanna, the director of the Global Governance Initiative in the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, and author of “The Second World: How Emerging Powers are Redefining Global Competition in the Twenty-First Century”, the Pakistani Army has lost control over more than just the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the Swat Valley. The army has now been stripped of the main pillar of its credibility.
“It is no longer the only institution capable of holding the country together, despite that view being a longstanding axiom in Pakistani politics,” the New York Times quotes Khanna as saying.
India, he believes, is hanging back from direct intervention in Pakistan despite the goading of nationalist politicians and diplomatic acrimony over Pakistan’s unwillingness to acknowledge culpability for the Lashkar-e-Taiba attacks in Mumbai last November.
He claims that it is clear that the Taliban nexus with Punjabi-based militant groups is deepening, and warns that if the Pakistani military becomes as lax about controlling the Indo-Pakistan border as it is about the Afghan-Pakistan border, significant escalation will come very soon.
While avoiding direct confrontation, India has upgraded its activities in Afghanistan, both through construction of a major road artery on the Iranian border and by opening consulates in the Afghan cities of Jalalabad and Kandahar near the Pakistan border.
Khanna said there are constructive steps India can take. It can increase its own support, together with NATO’s, for the Afghan national army. As important, it has to ensure a credible election in Kashmir to sap the ideological agenda of separatist groups backed by Pakistan-based militias.
The Taliban and such militant groups, like the Pakistan army, cannot hold Pakistan together, either. Only a democratic Pakistan can reduce the Taliban threat - and make long-term peace with India. (ANI)
Tags: acrimony, afghan cities, american strategy, constructive steps, global governance, goading, governance initiative, iranian border, jalalabad, lashkar e taiba, national army, nationalist politicians, new america foundation, pakistan border, pakistani army, pakistani military, pakistani politics, separatist groups, strategy program, swat valley