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Updated: June 13, 2012 00:33 IST

Understanding the thaw

Prem Shankar Jha
Comment (38)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
The Hindu

India-Pakistan relations have reached a historic turning point that neither country can afford to miss

At long last the ice in which India-Pakistan relations have been locked is beginning to melt. Pakistan has granted Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India's exports, bringing nearly 6,000 items onto the regular list of permissible imports. India is hastening to remove a host of non-tariff barriers to Pakistan's exports: a Joint India-Pakistan committee is even now pruning the forest of regulations enacted by 24 Indian standards organisations that had become India's answer to Pakistan's denial of MFN.

Pakistan began to buy petroleum products from India in March and is eyeing the purchase of 500 MW of power to feed its industries. Last month, 600 Pakistani businessmen visited a trade fair in Delhi to sell their products, and earlier this month India lifted its ban on Direct Foreign Investment from Pakistan. Sensing the birth of a new market, Indian steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal announced the commissioning of an oil refinery at Bhatinda, not far from the Pakistan border. Indian investment to generate power from the Thar coalfields in collaboration with Pakistani and other enterprises could be the next step. In the past 64 years there had been only one visit by a Pakistani commerce minister to India and none by his Indian counterpart to Pakistan. Since last September, the two have met four times in seven months.

The thaw is evident in our political relations as well. It was set off by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's spur-of-the-moment invitation to President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani to attend the India-Pakistan World Cup semi-final cricket match at Mohali. This year, when President Zardari invited himself to lunch with Dr. Singh while on his way to Ajmer, instead of being pelted with brickbats at home, he was showered with bouquets. Mian Nawaz Sharif, the head of the PML(N), not only applauded Mr. Zardari's initiative but supported what he termed the promotion of ties with India “in a positive way.”

The most significant endorsement came, however, from the Pakistan Army Chief, General Kayani, who remarked while visiting victims of the Skardu earthquake a week later that “peaceful coexistence between the two neighbours is very important so that everybody can concentrate on the well-being of the people…… The decades of enmity between India and Pakistan should be resolved through negotiation.”

Call for help

Is the change of heart in Pakistan's ruling elite genuine? B. Raman, the noted Chennai-based security analyst thinks not, and sees only another attempt to mount international pressure on India to de-militarise Siachen. The logic behind his reasoning is hard to discern for Siachen is the least of the international community's present concerns and Pakistan is not exactly in its good books at the moment. But there are a score of other reasons for India to mistrust Pakistani intentions — from the mindset of its army, to the fragility of its besieged democracy, to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)'s constant protection of its home-grown terrorists.

All these, however are reasons for caution, not inaction. India-Pakistan relations have reached a historic turning point where India's most inveterate enemy is asking India for not just help but trust. This is a turning we must not miss.

Pakistan is turning to India because its very survival as a modern state is now in jeopardy. It was partly forced, partly lured into America's War on Terror in Afghanistan. In the eyes of its people, it has been used by the U.S. and NATO like a dirty dishrag, and is now about to be casually thrown away as they prepare for their exit from Afghanistan. And it has nowhere else to turn.

The steep deterioration in its relations with the U.S. during the past 18 months makes it virtually certain that it will lose all military and most of the economic aid it is receiving from the U.S. Without this, Pakistan will not be able to service its external debt and its economy will collapse.

The Pakistan Army is feeling equally betrayed. When George Bush's attention wandered away from Afghanistan to Iraq, it realised that the war in Aghanistan would be prolonged and would probably end in failure. This would leave Pakistan to face the full wrath of the victorious Taliban and its al-Qaeda linked associates within Pakistan. It therefore took out one, possibly two, insurance policies: the first was the creation of a sanctum within the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) for the Haqqani network of Islamist fighters; the second was to give sanctuary to protect Osama bin Laden. The Pakistan Army had intended to use both as powerful political tools to extend its sway over Afghanistan after the U.S. and NATO left, but its strategy collapsed when, after dismissing Gen. Stanley McChrystal in 2010, President Obama decided to strengthen the Karzai government and allow his forces to enter Pakistani airspace with drones to attack the Haqqanis in North Waziristan.

When the succession of events in 2011 — CIA operator Raymond Davis' killing of two ISI shadowers in January, the killing of bin Laden in May, and the U.S.' inadvertent killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers inside Pakistan territory in November brought peoples' anger to fever pitch but failed to elicit an apology from Mr. Obama, and when Pakistan's northern neighbours rushed in to fill the supply gap left by Pakistan's closure of its supply routes from Karachi, the Army too realised that Pakistan was truly alone.

Even then the change of direction has not come easily. The Army's reaction to the U.S. turnabout in 2010-11, was to insist upon going it alone. To do this it was prepared to keep the supply lines closed, continue supporting the Haqqanis, and help them to retaliate against the U.S. drone attacks by stepping up their attacks on high profile U.S. and NATO targets in Afghanistan.

Trade issues

This is where the Army and the Zardari government seem to have parted ways. For Mr. Zardari and Mr. Gilani saw that this would further deepen Pakistan's isolation and hasten its economic ruin. Only a very high level of tension between the government and the Army can explain the bizarre drama that followed — with Pakistan Ambassador to the U.S., Husain Haqqani, dictating an unsigned memo to the U.S. Army Chief warning of an imminent army coup in Pakistan, to the one man, Mansur Ijaz who, he must have known, would take it straight to the ISI. The Army attempted to use the memo to discredit the government in Pakistan but the hostile public reaction to the very idea of a military coup, and its subsequent failure to get the Supreme Court to oust Mr. Zardari and imprison Mr. Gilani, showed the Army that the days of military rule were over. It could determine security policy, but only as part of a democratic government. It is this little noticed victory for democracy within Pakistan that has opened the portals for a rapprochement with India.

How far the rapprochement goes will depend on the sagacity of the leaders, especially ours. While Pakistan's foreign exchange outgo will actually drop when smuggling, and third party trade through Dubai is replaced by direct, legitimate trade, the imbalance between Pakistan's exports to and imports from India will appear even larger than it does today. New Delhi would therefore do well to think of ways in which to reduce this apparent gap lest it become fodder for the hate-India lobby in Pakistan. The least that is required is a rapid dismantling of India's non-trade barriers against Pakistan, but New Delhi would do well to consider lifting restrictions on the imports to textiles, which make up three fifths of Pakistan's exports, as well as cement and light engineering goods, as part of its commitments under the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA).

In its own best interests, Pakistan would do well to reciprocate by granting India the transit rights to central Asia that it has long been requesting. The transit fees on this trade alone would go a long way towards bridging Pakistan's balance of payments deficit. A speedy implementation of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline Project followed, hopefully, by one to Iran would meet Pakistan's foreign exchange and energy needs while giving India its much needed access to central Asia's energy supplies.

But the rapprochement will remain incomplete and fragile if it does not address the political and security concerns of the two countries. The thaw in fact began only after the two countries decided not to let the punishment of the terrorists of 26/11 and Kashmir stand in the way of resuming the search for peace. This search requires us to assuage the Pakistan Army's fear that India's quest for influence in Afghanistan is aimed at maintaining the capacity to present it with a hostile neighbour to its west. A quiet reassurance that India supports the continuation of the Durand line as an approximate border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and an offer to coordinate our aid to Kabul with Pakistan's, would go a long way towards doing so.

Some in India may be inclined to gloat over Pakistan's discomfiture and regard its overtures to India as a form of Indian victory. This would not only be unwise but short-sighted. Pakistan has approached India because it knows that a stable, even if sometimes fractious, Pakistan is essential to India's own security. An improvement in its security and a strengthening of its democracy will serve the interests of both. Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, has frequently mentioned the need for trust. But what she has actually implied is that a measure of trust is essential for both countries to better understand where their true interests lie.

(The writer is a senior journalist.)

More In: Lead | Opinion

Great idea to rapidly increase economic ties and people to people links. But no deal
on Siachen in isolation to overall settlement on border issues including Kashmir.
Create economic leverage and then settle border issues including end to terror
camps and reining in ISI and jihadis.

from:  Ajay Singh
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 22:46 IST

It is in the interest of both India and Pakistan to have friendly relations. But is it India's fault that the relations beween the two nations are where they are now? Since 1947, Pakistan has followed a policy of rabid hatred towards India and has attacked it numerous times. It continues a policy of supporting terrorists to bleed India. Despite all these, several Indian PMs have gone out of the way to extend the hand of frienship which Pakistan has spurned. One former PM (Inder Gujral) even went to the extent of shutting down the covert operations division of RAW for good. How do we know that Paksitan has a real change of heart now? They are still unwilling to dismantle the infrasttructure of terror that they have set up to tear India apart. They do not even want to extridite Dawood Ibrahim to India.

from:  krishna
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 21:25 IST

economy and strategic matters are 2 different routes. We always wanted good economic relations with pakistan. That does not mean we should mean we should let our guard down. Remember pakistan has not taken any steps against 2008 masterminds or against Dawood. If they take these steps, then we can think of lowering our guard. Pakistan economy is in dire straits , so they are turning to india, and India can also use this positively. But reading anything otherwise is very bird minded.

from:  hari
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 14:57 IST

From many decades Pak was afraid from India and kept his concentration
mostly on military power beside their human and natural resources.But it
was his whim because India never attacked on any nation in the past due
to being a peaceful nation.Now if he is stretching his friendly hand
toward India after learning the lessons of fifty year cold and hot war
then once more we should rely on this aggressive child for becoming
cold.

from:  Dr. Khaliquzzaman belhi
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 13:29 IST

We are past masters at building castles in the air. Niceties like Cricket, meals, business ventures et al among the elite are eye wash meant to fool the gullible public that a great breakthrough is about to happen in Indo-Pak relations. Nothing is going to happen at all, as earlier such niceties have proved. The main cause for this is India's unwillingness to resolve the bete noire in our relations, the Kashmir dispute. This was clearly displayed first at Tashkent then affirmed at Shimla. In fact a tacit understanding exists between the two nations not to take any steps to resolve the other disputes as well like, Siachen, Wullar Barrage, Sir Creek, and maritime boundary in the Arabian Sea. Add to this our worthy PM's glib statement that the border in J&K would become irrelevant and you have the Valley becoming a mini Pakistan from where terrorist strikes are launched every day. Our VIP treatment of convicted terrorists like Mohd Afzal and Ajmal Kasab shows our true intent.

from:  JK Dutt
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 12:38 IST

its good to have concerns about pakistan,but india should not forget that they have shaken our stability many times.So don't let them to do it again...no confrontation is ok but negotiation.. no way...!

from:  Ravinder singh
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 12:00 IST

we should never rely on our neighbors on north, west & east who have proved themselves very unreliable on many times. we should be very careful in dealing with them.

from:  palanisamy
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 08:55 IST

India must not trust Pakistan for some time and let it weaken further
and then only negotiate.

from:  Atma Gandhi
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 08:19 IST

The author appears to be suffering from a bout of presumption. Historically, Pakistan has been at best unreliable in fulfilling any promises made to India. And let us not forget that Pakistan is not actually isolated in the realm of nations, but has a very able all-weather friend in China, whose relations with India are not exactly salutary. I would urge a lot more than mere "caution" in our dealings with Pakistan at any level. Anything less, to paraphrase the author "...would not only be unwise but short-sighted". We can only hope to observe the proceedings with very mild optimism.

from:  Samir Mody
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 20:50 IST

big applaud to writer,who is optimistic.and see silver line. Because
mostly whenever relation of India Pakistan comes people usually start on
very dull note.Pakistan has betrayed India many times ,but now things
has been changed for Pakistan.They started feeling we cannot go very far
until neighbor not with us.They understood american policy of use and
through.They understood India is the future superpower.
It is late but not the least.

from:  shadman ansari
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 20:38 IST

Trusting pakistan is like eating cyanide and hoping and praying only good will emerge because your intentions are good. Man Mohan Singh is much interested in leaving a legacy of peace with pakistan but that will not happen because they are hell bent on killing us and disintegrating us. think of vajpayee and the result is kargil backstab by pakistan.we indians forget everything and also the common people suffering.think of 26/11.think of akshardam attack. think of calcutta and many more to go on.the least pakistan can do is to bring 26/11 perpetrators to justice an atleast salvage its left of reputation?.if not history will consider us as fools and laugh at ur impotence and politicians who lack patriotism morality anf fed fat only on nepotism regionalism. if we believe that economic activity and people to people contact will help they will only accelerate and increase the rate of terror attacks because of the simple fact more terrorists to rece sites for attack and we wll be fools

from:  jagannath
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 19:28 IST

hostilities are never going to end if no-one takes initiative. This time is willing so.So engage Pakistan more and more, let the people of Pakistan enjoy stable and a fearless life. This way the the mindset of Pakistani peopele is bound to change and India will get its biggest reward that terrorist groups of Pakistan will no longer have People's support and so in the longer course of time, we may see a friendly and stable flourishing neighbour.

from:  sonu
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 18:41 IST

The article is based on a false premise that the disintegration of Pakistan will be bad for India. Putting emotions aside, a Pakistan economy in ruins will mean dismantling of their nuclear arsenal that drains their economy even in good times. Why is that bad for India? The western powers have successfuly thwarted North Korea from obtaining nuclear weapons using economic sanctions for many years. But we want to help Pakistan unconditionally! We must be the only country in the world that wants to live with an aggressive nuclear armed neighbour forever.

from:  Viswanath
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 16:44 IST

Because there are many Indians who think like Mr. AKS Gupta , I will give quote from one expert...." there is a pattern here. 1) Most Hindus suffer from a 'peacock' complex - we have grandiose illusions about ourselves and we love to strut around and be magnanimous even to dangerous thugs who want to destroy us. It make us feel exalted even though the rest of the world snickers at our pretensions and our enemies take advantage of our stupidity. 2) Most of our PMs have been from the cow-belt, and the average Hindiwalla feels closer culturally to Pakistanis than he does to 'Madrasis' or Assamese. So they are always ready to jump into bed with the first Pakistani who winks at them. Think of all this rubbish you read about 'shared culture' between India and Pakistan - what does the average person from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu or Assam have in common with Pakistanis? But as long as these cow-belt fellows rule South Block, the situation will not change.

from:  Anil P.
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 16:43 IST

Economic activity that interlocks the two nations will lead to logical solutions of the many deep-rooted problems. When that point is reached war would be logically meaningless and futile. It already is that, but for the wrong reasons (nuclear). When that point is reached, I believe that we will end up solving a lot of serious problems in a manner that is beneficial to both sides. If there is FDI taking place on both sides, suddenly there is too much to lose. You do not bomb your own assets. It is the economic activity that will start the elimination of the trust deficit. Until that point is reached, I expect it is futile to discuss Siachen and Sir Creek etc. But what is stopping economic dependence and integration? which benefits both nations and leads to lots of synergies. Until then we wait, and wait for the business people and entrepreneurs to take over from Generals. It will very likley be worth the wait.

from:  Anil
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 15:55 IST

If India and Pakistan, like Russia and China, agree that a multipolar
world is better than a sole superpower calling the shots, the world
would indeed become a better place, starting right here in our near-
abroad.

from:  Rajan Mahadevan
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 15:42 IST

Pakistan is in a transition state where in its tryst with a militarized
democracy has just shown some semblance of dilution. Though the
democratic set up and system in that nation has still along way to go
before we say Pakistan is democratic nation in true sense, they have
embarked on the journey towards real democracy & contours for which are
seen in terms of the their decision to consider providing MFN to India
their softened stand on Siachin & also a willingness to at least talk
about liberal visa regime. No doubt experts & commentators will read
motives behind this sudden divine realization of friendship in
Pakistan. They suspect every statement of Pakistan as an effort to
mislead us. And this is warranted. But I'd like to add here that we
should take some steps of magnanimity given that in the changed
Pakistani internal equations. Even if military has not weakened the
democracy has strengthened there. At times read strategy on their face
value & don't take strategy as tactics.

from:  Ajeet Tiwari
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 14:25 IST

@Anil P-What else do you expect our leaders to do?keep sitting with arms folded,and keep frowning upon the past?Is there any other way out than engaging with our neighbours and trying to instill the positive feelings in their countrymen?Can you suggest a better practical alternative?

P.S-I don't know if he is talking about regional Pakistani newspapers(which anyway are full of propaganda and malice;our's are no different.),but if you read quality national papers like "the dawn",they talk sense.

Hope is all we have,Mr Anil.You are no different from them.

from:  Aks gupta
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 14:18 IST

It has become increasingly obvious to all that pakistan is an historical mistake and must be rectified in a pragmatic and phased manner. It has survived and survives as a neo-colonial state locked into the US -israel- saudi security project for west and south asia which now appears to be dismantling, in south asia more rapidly. This generates great insecurity in the corrupt military led elite of pakistan with threats to its economic and defence lifeline being cut by its imperialist masters. However, it also provides the pakistani state the opportunity to bite the bullet of its miscreation, its political, economic and moral bankruptcy and do some `out of the box' thinking (if you pardon the phrase) and undertake a genuine peace with India directed at a pragmatic coming together, perhaps a Confederation initially. Meanwhile, India must maintain its guard on the deep state in Pakistan which must be clinically excluded from any interference in Afghanistan post-2014 and dismantled.

from:  Sohail Zahid
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 14:09 IST

A decision on siachen should be reached only after taking the indian army on board and not due to public opinion or media sentiment. Siachen is strategically very important because it is overlooking the karakoram highway and We can disrupt the traffic in th silk route. Thats why pakistan tried to dislodge us from siachen so many times and now playing sympathy card citing the death of its soldiers in an avalanche. We should not forget how they tried to capture heights at kargil region and when India moves down from Siachen, Sino pak troops will move up sometime later. Then we will be shut out of the road link to central asia and europe. Our failure to wrestle back POK was a grave mistake because if we had done it, then silk road would have been in our control. If we withdraw from siachen without any gain, then it will be a fatal mistake. Rather than projecting this a wastage of rsources, media must tell the public about the pros and ons of holding on to siachen.

from:  Vijai Murugan
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 13:05 IST

Let alone the kashmir issue but the punishment of 26/11 terrorists is a very reasonable demand of India. Not letting this fact stand in the way of peace process is unacceptable. The 26/11 culprits have to be punished.

from:  Ajay
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 11:53 IST

Its a disappointing article, to say the very least! Mr. Jha a "senior" journalist is definitely belongs to peace hawk group, not dove! Following points must be remembered! 1. MFN granting: He seems to have a short memory on the flip-flop that has followed, MFN status has still not been granted! 2. Forest of regulations: While it makes sense to allow a level playing field to all our neighbors, what doesn't make sense is the demand to reduce the standards to accommodate them at the cost of health to the populace! 3. Siachen: The author may find it hard to discern the reasons given by Mr. Raman, but just because an issue is on the back-burner doesn't mean its forgotten! Perhaps he needs to see that even BBC has been known to have an anti-India bias when it comes to these matters. 4. Osama: Really you believe the official version which states that they had no idea that he was living near the capital? Disappointing that a senior journo has a 1-sided approach!

from:  M Ikariam
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 11:23 IST

The whole article is based on hopes. If India helps Pakistan at this juncture, it is hoped that, Pakistan will help India in maintaining peace, hoped that Pakistan’s democracy will get stronger in future, it is hoped that pakistan will give access to Afganistan, and fianally the great hope that somehow Pakistan will become so different that it will call India its friend ( forget being called brother).
If only our leaders and commentators watch Pakistan news channel, read articles in Pak newspapers and keep their MIND OPEN then they will realize that it is near impossible to get these hopes converted to realities.
We don’t have to dig into past to know that Pakistan has different agenda than what appears through their talk. Just few weeks back Pakistan was insisting for open visa regime. After spending time and money on the scheme by India, what is the outcome? But problem is not with Pakistanis. Problem is with Indians.

from:  Anil P.
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 11:05 IST

The recent initiatives between the two countries to improve relations is extremely laudable.It will require tremendous maturity and statesmanship on both sides to forge friendly ties between both the countries.
If the Indian sub-continent can become a region of peace and prosperity it will only benefit the people of both the countries who are fed up of mis-understandings and tensions. This region is one of the fastest growing regions in the world and can easily become a economic power-house to raise the living standards of the millions of our poor who are facing similar difficulties.
If free movement between both the countries is allowed, it will lead to stronger people to people relations between the two countries. Several initiatives are being launched by many people in both the countries to have a shared view of the future.The internet is a powerful medium for the youth and the women of both the countries
to exchange cultural,musical,artistic and literary talents

from:  Umesh Bhagwat
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 11:01 IST

We must acknowledge the Pakistan tagged India as
"MFN",but at the same time we should not give emphasis on internal
matter that is,how Pakistan floundered while keeping a good relation
with U.S or may be their political stance in jeopardy or perhaps we
should not talk about their hassle to keep maintain their economy.Let’s look how India will take the benefit out of it.I think India has lift the ban on FDI from Pakistan, now import goods from Pakistan come to India with a certain tax,which directly flow to Government pocket and people will relish with low price goods,which previously imported far rich countries with a high market price.India domestic market will mushroom.

from:  Prasannajeet Mohanty
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 10:29 IST

Author has succinctly concluded that it would be unwise to see India-Pakistan relations as a zero-sum game. Former PM Vajpayee once said that we have the choice to make friends or foes, but there is no choice when it comes to our neighbors, we have to live with them. Pakistan's overtures of goodwill toward India could raise some skepticism based on their behavior in the past. However, India has nothing to loose by reciprocating in kind. Increased bilateral trade, fresh political initiatives, a realistic relook at pending border issues, mellowed tone of Paksitan's military, are positive signs for a healthy rapproachement. Continuation of this process will likely lead to softening of public hostility on both sides of the border, which is key to a lasting peace in the region. Hawks on both sides may disagree, but there are few suggested alernatives. Sustained hostilities have bled socities and economies on both sides. Persisting with the status quo will harm India more than Pakistan.

from:  Surinder
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 09:57 IST

Since independence the relationship between India and Pakistan is not good and the reason is obvious-religiopolitical.But its time to redraw the map between these countries despite every odd equation due to following reason. First the age of globalisation where cooperate to dominate concept is very effecive and for common trade and activity we have similar language, culture and boarder.Secondly in the fast pace changing or world order where democracy and the capitalism gets absolute power the basic agenda of Pakistan loses its shine hence good tie up can be established between these country.In the long run due to so much similarity we can behave as a single unit and can revive the old historical glory of this land of aryans.

from:  Nehal Ahmad
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 09:23 IST

Sir,
How can a brief pause in terror activities and approaching India when no one else is listening to them, can be termed as an act of trust.Pakistan's issues with India (Kashmir etc.) are still open. So, understanding the thaw helps but it is important that India has a deep understanding and control of the actual situation that exists. Otherwise we will end up losing few more Rs 26 Indians in future terror activities.

from:  Praveen Nair
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 08:29 IST

I am very disappointed at the following statement. "A quiet reassurance that India
supports the continuation of the Durand line as an approximate border between
Pakistan and Afghanistan, and an offer to coordinate our aid to Kabul with
Pakistan's, would go a long way towards doing so."
What ? Pakistan continues to fully support Daood Ibrahim. It continues to protect
and support Hafeez Saeed and Jud. It refuses to prosecute master minds of 26/11
attacks and above all continues to dispute Kashmir.
In response , we want to guarantee the 'Durand Line", the disputed border
between Afganistan and Pakistan, a line which even Taliban refused to recognize ?

from:  Rajiv
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 08:24 IST

The Article is very well Presented. It describes the various Events which has changed the due Course of Pakistan on different Grounds.
Indeed we all believe that the current relationship between India and Pakistan and the progress both countries have made are not easily achievable despite a number of talks.

Hope the Siachen Dispute gets Resolved with the same Ease.

from:  sai
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 07:51 IST

As the author explained India must continue to explore opportunities to build cultural and economic ties to Pakistan. But India also must do all it can to prevent and pre-empt future terror attack that will inevitably follow. Pakistan still has a very influential and rabidly anti Indian religious fanatics. Pakistan still officially protects the men who planned, and trained the Mumbai 26/11 terrorists. Pakistan still officially protects India's most wanted men like Dawood Ibrahim and Hafiz Zaeed. It is just a question of when (not if) will the next attack happen. Like Pakistan India must take a 2 headed policy towards security. India can not punish Pakistan militarily due to the nuclear equation. What India can do is increase covert warfare against Pakistani jihadis and their network

from:  Prasanth Nambiar
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 07:37 IST

The leaders and followers of Freedom movement never foresaw the
predicament of divided histories which the subcontinent has become. The
price was not only internecine wars, the economic emancipation remains
unfulfilled and potential for cultural development have hardly been realized. One big plus point is that strategic potential, though only
in combined services mode, created for shaping their destiny
independently. In this post-imperial world. India earlier could afford
non-alignment to ward of regional threats, but with China becoming over
four times more powerful, threat threshold have crossed danger mark.
Any polarization on the Indo-Pak fission line would be unsustainable.
Makes more sense to obtain peace dividend and force multiplier effect
by cultural fusion. World economy would be better off and developed
nations be able to deploy intellectual capital gainfully by economic
spinoffs.

from:  N J Ramesh
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 06:13 IST


1. The author starts by declaring that Pakistan granted MFN to India. Instead, they have merely promised to do so in 1-2 years and that too if their conditions are met.

2. Unlike the claim in this article, Pakistan just refused to import petroleum products from India. Readers can check for this readily on the web.

The author would have us believe that Pakistani anger towards America appeared out of the blue. Instead, it was manufactured by the army through its media proxies. Further the author hasn’t offered a scintilla of evidence to back up the outlandish claim that the Pakistani army changed its tactics as soon as America invaded Iraq.

The way to a long term peace is hardly by chasing chimeras and making up facts. We should indeed expand trade. But we should stand firm against any irreversible policy decision until Pakistan’s rogue army and its terrorist allies are brought under civilian control.

from:  Gopal Vaidya
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 05:14 IST

Every time INDIA was eager&willing to engage Pakistan every political&military leadership of that country has balked at the very thought&used the K word as the veto.Now that THE PAKISTANIS themselves have realised their desperate almost survival issue at stake it is time they as a good will long term gesture offer J&K as INDIAN &that will go a long way in trusting the ERSTWHILE untrustworthy OPPONENTS.

from:  bala srinivasan
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 05:08 IST

A very well written article

from:  ASHOK DAVE
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 04:39 IST

Pakistan and India would do well, if they focus and keep away their common enemies.

The internal enemies are a. Poverty b. Illiteracy c. ignorance d. lethargy e. self-
aggrandizement and f. lack of prioritisation.

Their common external enemies are the same colonial powers that played havoc till a
generation ago, and stationed in Afghanistan.

These external enemies have changed their tack and language. They now talk about
global village, democracy, human rights and civilisation.

from:  Dr RKRAO REBBAPRAGADA
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 03:18 IST

In the interest of security, India should not trust Pakistan as Pakistan lies all along to everyone as noted by several international authors. It is OK to trust Pakistan if it recognizes the LOC.

from:  nirode mohanty
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 01:39 IST

Well written article....makes a lot of sense. Pray that someone that
matters has the will to make use of this great opportunity to work out a
fair deal between the two nations while making sure our national
security and national interests are not jeopardized in any way in doing
so.

from:  Param
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 01:08 IST
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Tactics aligned to strategy

There are many positives in the Union budget with the steps in its overall strategy well aligned to try and fulfil people’s aspirations. A negative is that they have not been integrated to tell a coherent story of how they are going to help solve the country’s problems »