For two decades this scribe has been hammering away at one point: the need to convert SAARC into a full fledged EU style community. This was based on the belief that the 1947 Partition was horribly flawed. The new international borders flowing from it made mockery of all the accepted norms of nationhood.
The EU model offered the prospect of undoing the spirit of the Partition without undoing its legal substance. One thought this to be the politically correct goal to pursue. One assumed that even an artificially created nation like Pakistan could survive and thrive as the member of a South Asian Union. That eventuality could have offered both India and Pakistan great mutual advantage. Has the time come to bury that hope?
How the recent terrorist attack in Lahore resolves itself should decide the issue. Ever since Pakistan became the bridge between America and China in the early 1970s its policies and growth have been severely distorted. It became a puppet of two big powers that at times had conflicting interests. During the time that it walked the tight rope between both powers, trying to play one against the other, Pakistan became complicit in many unsavory political deals. It has ended up as the hub of global terrorism.
The inspiration and collusion of the Pakistan army and ISI in fomenting terrorism was indisputable. Now the growth of terrorism has made it unacceptable to a large part of the world. Pakistan has to end the partnership of its official agencies with terrorist outfits.
The question is: can it? As recently as the terrorist bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul official US sources accused General Kayani of being aware of the ISI plot behind it. Kayani could ignore that without internal political damage to Pakistan.
Now things are different. The attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore has severely damaged Pakistan. There is overwhelming circumstantial evidence that suggests substantial help to the terrorists by elements in Pakistan's security establishment. It defies belief that General Kayani and ISI chief General Pasha would be unaware of the identity of these official elements. It remains to be seen how General Kayani responds.
If the purge of pro-terrorist elements in Pakistan's army and ISI does not commence forthwith, India should draw its own unavoidable conclusion. The army and ISI will not allow democratic Pakistan to survive.
It will be a valid assumption then that democracy in Pakistan cannot take root; that Pakistan will remain the global terrorist hub with its army's blessing; that the future of the nation is sealed. Pakistan will not survive as a nation state. India, then, should start formulating its future policies on the assumption that Pakistan will disintegrate.