India-Pakistan Peace Dialogue: A Fruitless Quest

Once again the season is on for external calls and pressures for resumption of the India-Pakistan Peace Dialogue now that the Congress Government is back in power and external patrons of Pakistan perceive that PM Dr Manmohan Singh would be amenable to such pressures. Forcefully, it needs to be emphasized that Pakistan's external patrons are unable to prevail upon the Pakistan Army to cease its relentless proxy war of state-sponsored terrorism against India and create conditions conducive to meaningful negotiations. It would be an insult to all those people senselessly killed in Mumbai 9/11 by Pakistan Army trained commandos if the Indian Government succumbs to external pressures to reopen the Peace Dialogue with Pakistan without Pakistan making any recompense for it. Peace is desirable but appeasement is cowardly and does not befit a country of India's regional and global standing.

Sixty years of India-Pakistan relations amply illustrate that it is fruitless to engage Pakistan in peace dialogues as long as the Pakistan Army continues to be the dominating factor in the governance of Pakistan. The reason is simple in that the very centrality of the Pakistan Army in Pakistan's governance would cease if peace was to prevail between the two countries. Thrown out of the window in such an eventuality would also be the corporate empires of the Pakistan Army and the millions that go to line the coffers of the Pakistan Army generals through control of such enterprises.

India itself is to blame because it persists in engaging in the fruitless quest of the charade of the off-on India-Pakistan Peace Dialogues. Every time a break occurs in this process it is always due to one or the other major terrorism onslaughts inflicted on India and where the footprints and trails lead back straight to Islamic Jihadi militias spawned and nurtured by the Pakistan Army.

Strong noises made by India in the wake of such terrorism incidents against India end in a whimper after a couple of months as external pressures once again come into play on India.

The Indian Government of the day then on one pretext or the other finds feeble excuses for resumption of the Peace Dialogue. Enlisted in this game by the Indian Government and Pakistan's external patrons are a whole host of Indian Pakistan-apologists harping as if India would crumble if it shirked from resumption of the Peace Dialogue. And this charade merrily rolls on again

Indian media reports are currently alive with reports that since US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was due to visit India in July 2009 and pressures would come into play to resume the Peace Dialogue the present Indian Government might be tempted to go in for a unilateral call for resumption of Peace Dialogue before her arrival so as not to give the impression that it conceded the initiative under pressure.

If there is substance in such reports then what is called into question is that is whether Indian Government policy formulations on Pakistan are going to be determined by external pressures or are Indian policies in critical areas are going to be determined by India's own national security imperatives ?

The impression that has set-in in the last five years is that when it comes to Pakistan the policies of the Indian Government seem to be decided in Washington and determined by US strategic priorities in South Asia. It is high time that the Indian Government becomes alive to the imperatives of India's Pakistan policies being determined by India's national security imperatives. The Indian Government has also now to be alive to the strong Indian public opinion sentiment that there should be no Peace Dialogue with Pakistan till Pakistan decisively eliminates its state-sponsored terrorism against India.   


More by :  Dr. Subhash Kapila

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