Peace Talks with Pakistan

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post

Sukalyan Talukdar, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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On April 7, 2016 Pakistan’s envoy to New Delhi, Abdul Basit, announced that the “peace process with India has been suspended”. He also commented on the NIA team’s possible visit to Pakistan to follow-up on the investigations into the Pathankot attack.  That it may not be possible considering the reciprocal step post the visit of the Pakistan Joint Investigation Team. Basit also mentioned the arrest of alleged R&AW agent Kulbhushan Yadav alleging that Indian spy agencies have been involved in subversive activities in Pakistan.

The fact is the Pakistan’s Army has rejected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s effort to normalise relationships with India. Mr. Sharif has promised to act against the Jaish-e-Muhammad(JeM) after its alleged attack on the IAF base in Pathankot.

The Army’s most potential issue with India has been the Kashmir-purported India backed terrorism in Pakistan and, most recently, the arrest of alleged Indian intelligence operative Kulbhushan Yadav — a former naval officer.

India doesn’t have many options with Pakistan. The last major gains in the India-Pakistan relationship were won through war, not dialogue. The LoC ceasefire, and the post-2003 reduction of violence in Kashmir, came about as a consequence of the war of 1999 and the near-war of 2001-2002 — a crisis that India could barely afford, but which almost broke Pakistan. But now India cannot risk a war with Pakistan which could destroy the economic growth in the country. The only option with India is that of a healthy dialogue. Pakistan is facing many issues from terrorism to military supremacy over an elected Government. But it is for these reasons that Pakistan’s Army is certain to ensure that any process of India-Pakistan normalisation goes nowhere.

Another blow to India-Pakistan peace talks comes when China recently blocked a move by the UN to ban Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief and Pathankot strike mastermind Masood Azhar. The JeM is also responsible for attack on Indian Parliament in 2001. China took this stand on the request of Pakistan.

The Sino-Pakistan relationship is at its peak. China openly considers Pakistan as their nation’s only real ally. China’s submarine operations in the Indian Ocean and the Sino-Pak naval cooperation are challenging naval supremacy and have the potential to change the regional naval power balance.

How India counters this dual threat from China and Pakistan it will remain a concern in the near future.

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