The time to eliminate the scourge of terrorism from the region could not be more propitious. The recent bomb blasts at Wagah which took more than 50 Pakistani lives should be the final wake up call for Islamabad. For the first time China, which has been a stumbling block for fighting terrorism due to Beijing’s all weather friendship with Pakistan, has indicated that it might get on board for a joint war against terrorism. This indication came from the parleys in the Istanbul Process foreign ministerial Afghanistan conference held in Beijing last week. Chinese, Afghan and Indian representatives at the conference discussed prospects of peace in Afghanistan after withdrawal of NATO troops.
The biggest impediment in the war on terror has been up till now the rogue elements of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) which mentored and encouraged the rogue elements in the Pakistan army. Now there are indications that things may change. President Xi Jinping publicly warned the PLA to maintain loyalty to the Communist Party and government. The fact that he issued this public warning indicates admission of rogue elements in the PLA and Beijing’s resolve to curb them. Continued terrorist activity in Xingjian has persuaded Beijing that enough is enough. Beijing can no longer ignore the support to Xingjian terror by Pakistani terrorists patronized by the army.
Beijing’s changed attitude was noted by both the Indian and Afghan representatives at the Istanbul Process Conference in Beijing. Afghan Foreign Minister Mr. Zarar Ahmad Osmani said that "the reasons for the existence and presence of terrorism in the region have to be identified. One of the issues under discussion at this conference was the presence of Taliban in Afghanistan. The reason for their presence has to be identified.” Clearly he was alluding to Pakistani support for terrorist groups in Afghanistan. Chinese Foreign Minister Mr. Wang Yi endorsed him. He told media: “I am happy to tell you that among the confidence building measures we agreed today, the first is on counterterrorism. We believe that the international community should not accept any forms of terrorism. During the conference we have had an extensive exchange of views on the topic." The Indian representative General VK Singh said that it was significant that the terror issue took centre stage despite Beijing's "all-weather" ties with Pakistan. He said: "We had a convergence of views on this particular issue. Afghanistan should not again become a safe haven for terrorism. China said India should continue to play an important role for security issues in Afghanistan."
This is not enough. Prime Minister Mr. Modi should take the initiative to propose a joint war on terror launched by an alliance of the armies and intelligence agencies of China, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. If Beijing pressures Pakistan the civil government in Islamabad could prevail over the rogue elements of the Pakistan army. An alliance with an apex body to coordinate the war is the first imperative.