By Sajjad Shaukat
However, Pakistan has been conducting fruitless dialogue with India. In this regard, the fact of the matter is that India has been using delaying tactics and is only fulfilling formalities as part of its shrewd diplomacy by playing a double game with Islamabad.
It is of particular attention that on the one hand, India has been emphasising that it wants to promote friendship with Pakistan by continuing the new phase of talks, while on the other, it has intensified anti-Pakistan activities and a deliberate propaganda campaign against Islamabad. This could be judged from the recent developments. On June 16, Indian Navy ship Godavari obstructed the operation, being carried out by Pakistan Navy ship Babur for Merchant Vessel Suez—also undertook dangerous maneuvers in relation to the release of hostages, captured by Somali pirates. While acting upon the misperceptions of some US high officials, on May 25, Indian Defence Minister AK Antony stated that India is concerned about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal after a group of terrorists laid siege to a heavily guarded naval air base. He also revealed, “Our services are taking all precautions and are ready round-the-clock.”
Besides, in the aftermath of Osma’s death in a US military raid in Pakistan, India has left no stone unturned in maligning Islamabad and distorting the image of the latter. In this respect, Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram said that the killing of Bin Laden “deep inside Pakistan” shows that world’s terrorists “belonging to different organisations find sanctuary in that country.” Without naming Pakistan, Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna stated that the world “must not let down” its united effort to eliminate the safe havens that have been provided to terrorists in its neighbourhood. New Delhi, while urging the Pakistan government to arrest the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks of 2008, also accused Pakistan’s spy agency, ISI of supporting the militants.
As regards the Mumbai catastrophe, the true story has been exposed recently when a day after the Indian media exposed the name of the terrorist, Wazhul Qamar Khan whose name was included in the list of 50 alleged terrorists given to Pakistan in March. On May 18, 2011, Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram was compelled to admit that what the media described an embarrassing lapse, but disowned responsibility for preparing the list. On the other hand, Pakistan’s security and intelligence agencies were desperately looking for Wazhul Khan and had his name not been made public. But Wazhur Qamar “is living in the suburbs of Mumbai with his family” and “is regularly reports to a court that gave him bail” as reported by The Times of India.
India has also failed in supplying solid proof to Pakistan in relation to Mumbai tragedy except providing a self-fabricated story which was quite fake—full of loopholes, created by Indian secret agency, RAW. Neither, India provided Islamabad reciprocal information about Indian officials involved in Malay villages and Samjotha Express blasts in which Indian mastermind Lt. Col. Srikant Purohit was found guilty in targeting Muslims nor it took action against the concerned culprits.
Nevertheless, India and Pakistan had decided to resume the dialogue process through their home secretaries who had held talks on March 28 and 29, this year on a host of issues. These talks were the first structured bilateral home secretary-level meeting on counter-terrorism after the Indo-Pak decision to resume comprehensive talks.
In the recent past, although Foreign ministers of Pakistan and India ended their dialogue with a positive note as both the countries termed their talks ‘useful’ and vowed that the talks would pave the way for serious and sustainable dialogue, yet the same failed without producing tangible results. In this context, Pakistan’s former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had remarked that India was not mentally ready for talks, as it wanted to discuss only selective issues.
During their joint press briefing, to a question regarding Indian involvement in Balochistan, Indian counterpart Krishna indicated that the issue had been mentioned in the Sharmel Sheikh declaration. Qureshi stated that during the meeting, he had also mentioned reports that Baloch separatist leader, Brahamdagh Bugti had obtained an Indian passport. Although Krishna had pointed out, “I agreed we have cordial and frank exchange of views on all outstanding issues. Effective action against terrorism is required,” and “India is committed to being a sincere partner to establish peaceful and progressive relationship with Pakistan,” yet he had used those words in language of diplomacy because no progress was made in those talks due to Indian intransigence.
But in 2008, New Delhi suspended the process of ‘composite dialogue’ under the pretext of Mumbai terror attacks which were in fact, arranged by the RAW. Meanwhile, Indian rulers blackmailed Islamabad that they would not resume the talks unless Islamabad takes actions against the culprits of Mumbai catastrophe. In 2002, under the pretext of terrorist attack on the Indian parliament, New Delhi again postponed the process of dialogue.
Indian leaders forgot that there is no chance for the success of Pak-Indian talks in wake of a threatening policy, coercive diplomacy and arms-twisting tactics. This is a lesson especially for New Delhi to learn from its experience of dealing with Islamabad during the last six decades. For example in 2001-02 and 2008, India failed to secure Pakistani compliance to its illegitimate demands even though half a million battle-ready Indian troops marched up to the international boundary with Pakistan.
Despite various crises which were availed by New Delhi in order to suspend the process of negotiations, previous Pak-Indian dialogue could not produce any result due to Indian delaying tactics. In this context, Indian diplomats have always tried to make the longstanding issues difficult, intricate and complex, challenging Pakistani stand so that no settlement could be made regarding any issue, especially the Indian-held Kashmir. As a matter of fact, history of Pak-India dialogue clearly shows that India is not serious and sincere in resolving any issue including the key dispute of Kashmir. Hence, New Delhi has always used one or the other justification so as to delay the peace process. In this regard, slow peace process in the Sub-continent is because of Indian obduracy.
It is notable that Indian adamant stand in relation to Pak-Indian parleys are not without some sinister designs. In this connection, India is determined to keep its hold on Kashmir which is considered by it as integrated part of the Indian union. India wants to continue state terrorism on the innocent Kashmiris who are waging a ‘war of liberation’ for their legitimate rights. New Delhi also wants to blackmail Pakistan by stopping the flow of rivers’ water towards Pakistan as major rivers of our country take origin from the occupied Kashmir. In this regard, India has constructed various dams so as to starve Pakistan owing to severe consequences of shortage of water. However, by controlling the Kashmiri territories, New Delhi intends to get leverage over Islamabad by resolving the dispute in accordance with its own will.
Particularly, India also desires to destabilse Pakistan. Notably, for the last seven years, Pakistan’s various regions have been facing suicide attacks and targeted killings by the militants who entered the country from Afghanistan where tentacles of terrorism exist. For this purpose, India has set up secret training centres in Afghanistan where its military personnel in collaboration with RAW, Mossad and CIA have been imparting training to the youngsters so to weaken Pakistan because it is the only nuclear country in the Islamic world. These secret agencies are also supporting insurgency in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and separatism in Balochistan.
Regarding various terror-events, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik and ISPR Spokesman, Maj-Gen. Athar Abbas have repeatedly indicated foreign involvement behind the attacks—saying that terrorists “are the enemies of the state” and “are mercenaries who receive arms from Afghanistan to destabilise the country.” In such a situation, it is false hope as some political experts think that unlike 1997-98, the present attempt to settle Kashmir within the framework of the new dialogue including other issues may have a greater chance of success.
The fact is that India resumed the present peace process under international pressure, especially of the United States. In this respect, Indian political party, BJP has already pointed out that the Congress-led government re-initiated the ongoing Pak-Indian dialogue under American duress. Besides, by fulfilling the formality, Indian rulers also want to show to the western countries that India is willing to settle all the outstanding disputes with Pakistan. Nonetheless, it is owing to India’s non-seriousness and duplicity with Islamabad that Pakistan’s dialogue with India is proving fruitless.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations