Pak terrorism must end for dialogue with India

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Brussels [Belgium], (ANI): The relationship between India and Pakistan will always remain wilted till there is a complete halt to cross-border terrorism, says a report published by a Europe-based think tank.

According to the European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) report, a key reason for the trust deficit that exists between New Delhi and Islamabad is “the sheer incompatibility between both nuclear powers.”

The EFSAS report clearly acknowledges that both countries have their problems, but Pakistan in particular possesses a nature that is in perpetual conflict with India’s.

“The deep-rooted anti-India stand and inflexible hostility has been complemented by a continuous undermining of democratic institutions by the (Pakistan) Army, which makes it difficult to know, whom to talk to in Pakistan when one is embarking on a path of normalising relations,” says the EFSAS report .

It further says that the army’s “preoccupations with a large-scale Pashtun social movement for fundamental human rights in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, volatility in Balochistan, political and ethnic divisions in Sindh and Punjab, a rights movement in Gilgit Baltistan and the never ending civil-military tensions in local Pakistani politics”, prevent a possible scenario for talks with India.

The international community clearly acknowledges and repeats ad nauseum that the epicenter of power in Pakistan wrests with General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi, and that whenever gestures aimed at normalisation of talks between Pakistan and India are initiated, they are inevitably followed by or “marred by” violence.

We only have to recall incidents like the Kargil War of 1999, the terror strike on the Indian Parliament in 2001, the terror strikes across Mumbai in 2008, the terrorist strikes on the Pathankot Air Force base and in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir in 2016, to realize that each of these were preceded by gestures of a desire for peace and talks by the civilian leaderships of both countries, only for the Pakistan Army to scuttle them to create a scenario that was in its favour. This has been the case for more than seven decades.

“India’s decades-old policy of strategic restraint changed after consecutive attacks on its soil and carried a message to Pakistan; “This far and no further”.

The other key factor that needs to be taken note of is that of China’s “tacit support to the Pakistan Army”, says the EFSAS report.

It clearly reiterates that Beijing will take every measure possible to safeguard its ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) initiative and give the Pakistan Army a lead role in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, as it does not want its huge investments or its long-term geo-political ambitions facing any sort of risk.

Beijing’s controversial decision to use its veto to stop the UN from declaring Jaish-e-Muhammed leader Mazood Azhar from being declared a global terrorist and the Pakistan Army’s actions to mainstream Hafiz Saeed into the country’s political process, is proof that chances of a bilateral dialogue are remote.

“It is of the utmost importance that talks, dialogue and diplomacy should be preceded and succeeded by efforts of tranquility which ensure that rapprochement endeavors do not go in vain. The first confidence building measure should be that the Pakistan Army halts its two-faced counter terrorism strategy. the country has emerged as the epicenter of global terror, thereby risking a permanent state of instability in the region of South Asia and a possible nuclear confrontation with its neighbor, India.”

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