Pakistan's Irreconcilable Trust Deficit With India

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by ajtr, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Oct 2, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Hard hitting article speaks Volumes about the enunchood of Indian political elites.

    Pakistan's Irreconcilable Trust Deficit With India

    India’s apex level political leaders and its policy establishment have taken sixty-three years to recognize that Pakistan suffers incorrigibly from a serious trust deficit with India, a fact which the rest of India has been conscious for years. India’s apex level political leaders have been both blind and deaf in failing to see and hear the confrontationist and adversarial signals that the Pakistan governing establishment has been consistently sending in terms of 1947-48, 1965, 1971, and 1999 Wars and interspersed in every decade with proxy wars, state-sponsored terrorism, suicide bombings and saber-rattling.

    India’s apex level political leaders and their confidante advisory setup on Pakistan policy have either been in a state of denial or politically and strategically naïve in not correctly reading Pakistan’s governing establishment’s underlying intentions towards India. The raw strategic truth is that Pakistan’s governing establishment has yet to come to terms with Pakistan’s glaring strategic, military and economic asymmetries with India.

    In the last sixty three years, India’s governing elite has failed to recognize the above strategic truth. India’s apex level political leadership has resorted to Pakistan-appeasement policies for a number of reasons. It was possibly perceived by them that India by showing reasonableness might be able to wean away Pakistan from its conflictual propensities with India. Mistakenly, they also applied their own templates of rational political behavior on the thinking of Pakistan’s governing establishment which has consistently been prone to irrational behavior.

    More significantly, Indian political leaders have succumbed to external political pressures to adopt appeasement policies towards Pakistan so that Pakistan Army’s sense of insecurities vis-à-vis India are reduced to serve Western strategic expectations from the Pakistan Army. It is being argued that such a process could make the Pakistan Army more amenable for peace with India.

    India’s bankruptcy of strategic and political analysis stand exposed in recent months when besides other analysts a very senior strategic analyst opined in his writings that realistically India should now reach out to the Pakistan Army Chief and his Generals to solve outstanding issues as they call the real shots in Pakistan. He suggested that the Prime Minister should depute a Special Envoy for discussions with the Pakistan Army Chief. There seems to be some external orchestration and calibration to generate such assertions from within the Indian strategic community to prepare the base for such an initiative by the Indian political leadership.

    Reflected by this Author at the time of the invitation to General Musharraf for the Agra Summit by BJP Prime Minister Vajpayee in one of his Papers was that it was a grave political blunder being committed under United States pressure which wanted that by such an invitation ‘political legitimacy’ would accrue from India to the Pakistan Army Chief. It is hoped that Congress Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would not repeat that blunder by making India an accomplice to accord ‘political legitimacy’ to Washington’s current favorite Pakistan Army Chief General Kayani, possibly positioned as Pakistan’s President in 2013 or even much earlier.

    In India’s current political thinking, hovering and predominating political space in India are the utterances of the Prime Minister and his policy establishment with the repetitive refrain that peace dialogue with Pakistan needs to continue despite the setbacks imposed by Pakistan. Indian Foreign Secretary in a TV interview advanced the rationale that dialogue was the only means in which the Pakistan Army could be persuaded to stop its support to terrorist activities against India. Is the historical record being forgotten?

    India refuses to learn that peace with Pakistan is “strategically impossible” and the reasons stand spelt out by this Author in one of his recent Papers titled as such. To change the tack on the subject t so that reality dawns on India’s political leadership and their close Pakistan policy advisers this Paper has been titled as “Pakistan’s Irreconcilable Trust Deficit With India”.

    After all the new buzz-word in India- Pakistan discussions is “trust deficit” and what better way to disabuse the “India’s Inflated Trust in Pakistan” of India’s political leadership than by highlighting the “Trust Deficit With India” that pervades the perspectives of Pakistan’s current ‘de facto’ ruler of Pakistan, namely the Pakistan Army Chief General Kayani, lionized as such by the United States.

    The Indian Foreign Secretary in the same TV interview asserted that “officialdom deals with realities”. If that be so then India’s officialdom would be well –advised not to feed their political masters with rosy and idealistic prognostications in how to deal with the Pakistan governing establishment This Paper attempts to project the ‘realities’ that dominate the Pakistan governing establishment agenda against India.

    The Pakistan Army is irretrievably opposed to India and at every conceivable opportunity has resorted to wars, proxy war, terrorism and supplementing these with inventing Pakistan’s ‘rental state’ utility to strategic patrons like China and the United States to strategically discomfit India.

    With General Kayani as the Chief of Army Staff, it is led to believe by the United States and Britain after the London Conference, NATO Brussels briefing and the US-Pak Strategic Dialogue in Washington in March 2010 that ‘he is their man’ in Islamabad, makes him unresponsive and not amenable to any peace dialogue with India.

    India’s apex political leadership and the policy establishment must take off their blinkers and face squarely the fact that as long as the Pakistan Army exists as the controlling authority in Pakistan’s governance and Pakistan’s foreign policy towards India, talking peace with Pakistan is like “Knocking on Closed Doors”.

    In terms of relations with India, General Kayani has already spelt out his agenda that peace with India is not possible unless India solves the following outstanding issues to Pakistan’s satisfaction.

    Water Disputes
    Siachen and allied issues.

    In addition General Kayani has firmly told the United States and his Western backers that he expects them to pressurize India on the following issues which disturb the Pakistan Army;

    India’s Afghanistan policy and enlarged Indian involvement in Afghanistan.
    United States must maintain a ‘Balance of Power’ in South Asia.
    India’s Cold Start War Doctrine reduces the nuclear threshold in any India-Pakistan conflict
    All these six issues are analyzed below to highlight that India is in no position to concede to the Pakistan Army agenda and stipulations for peace with India. Since no Indian Government can accede to Pakistan Army’s demands and survive the political wrath of the Indian people, Pakistan’s “Trust Deficit” with India is irreconcilable.

    That throws up the moot question as to whether India is well advised to persist for a peace dialogue with Pakistan’s governing establishment or as earlier written by me that India should adopt the precept that “Silence is Another Principle of War” and await the forces of history to take control of events in Pakistan.

    Kashmir Issue: India Realistically and Legally Cannot Hand Over Kashmir to the Pakistan Army

    India’s political leaders have over the last sixty three years have themselves perpetuated the Kashmir issue as an outstanding issue in India-Pakistan relations. India should have long ago and especially after the Special Resolution of the Parliament unanimously passed in the early 1990s, firmly told Pakistan, United States and Britain that “Kashmir is Non-Negotiable”.

    Pakistan is welcome to use military force to wrest Kashmir from India. The next Pakistan Army War with India could possibly lead to Pakistan’s further fragmentation. This is not war mongering or jingoism but a reiteration of an inescapable reality.

    The United States needs to be advised by India that Pakistan has no ‘locus standii” on Kashmir and that if USA further values the US-Strategic Partnership and wants its successful evolution, USA should wash its hands off this issue. The United States has no role on Kashmir or any other India-Pakistan disputes as it is “not an honest broker” in the eyes and perceptions of the Indian public.

    India would be well advised not to entertain any discussion on Kashmir either by Pakistan or any other country.

    Pakistan always places Kashmir at the top of its agenda for peace dialogues with India fully well knowing that India will not compromise on it. Then why this repetitive Pakistani emphasis? Obviously, because Pakistan is not interested in the success of any peace dialogues with India. It makes these peace noises as a proforma activity to humor the US policy establishment.

    General Kayani’s New Conflictual Agenda with India: Water Disputes

    It needs to be recalled that the ‘water disputes’ never topped the agenda as an outstanding issue in India-Pakistan disputes. It received salience lately and that salience has been given by General Kayani. The Indus Waters Treaty has held in good stead for nearly fifty years by now even though the settlement was not particularly favorable to India. India still accepted it.

    The Pakistan media abounds in reports that scarcity of water today in Pakistan arises not from India’s actions but from Pakistan’s mismanagement of its water resources and large scale unauthorized siphoning of waters by the Pakistan Army for its vast landed estates.

    US State Department papers of that period reveal that the US weighted the Indus Waters Treaty in favor of Pakistan. In a recent issue of the USI Journal, Shri MP Menon brings out that:

    “The resolution of the Indus Water Treaty was planned to favor Pakistan, The outcome, all of us know, is a Pakistan biased Treaty and much hyped as a model. Unfortunately, a beleaguered, financially stressed India then was coerced to sign that agreement for maintaining peaceful relations with its neighbor,”

    Menon further provides statistical data as follows: “However, the provisions in the treaty, would indicate that by equally dividing the rivers, Pakistan got 135.6 MAF (i.e. 80% of Indus waters) for its 26 million acres of cultivable area, while India with a cultivable area then of 39 million acres got only 32.8 MAF (i.e. 20%) against its rightful share of more than 40% as per the prevailing norms."

    Need more to be said on General Kayani’s reiteration of the water dispute solution before peace can be talked about. Somewhere in General Kayani’s thinking a devious linking of the water disputes to the Kashmir issue is freshly being contrived as an additional pressure point on India.

    The Siachen Issue

    Writing a few years back when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was very close to compromising on the Siachen issue with Pakistan, I had asserted in a Paper by that name that the Congress Party “Should Not Repeat Aksai Chin in Siachin”. Mercifully, due to strong opposition by the Indian Army to de-militarization of Siachin to suit the Pakistan Army, the Prime Minister reconsidered his stand.

    Siachin is a part of the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir which is an integral part of India and whose status is non-negotiable. If that be so then what space exists for Indian negotiators to discuss Siachin with Pakistan?

    Therefore this is yet another issue on which the Pakistan Army would not budge from its demands and gets added to the trust deficit with India.

    India’s Afghanistan Policy Cannot be Subjected to Pakistan Army’s Dictates or American Pressures

    India has legitimate security and strategic interests in Afghanistan and these stand amplified in a number of Papers by this Author. General Kayani since the London Conference and the meetings thereafter with the US Administration has been successful in side-lining India’s presence in Afghanistan. Sadly, India has allowed itself to be subjected to this humiliation without any ripostes.

    But can India as a sovereign nation and a rising power with global potential continue to be dictated by Pakistan Army’s protestations to USA to keep India out of Afghanistan and the United States seconding those outrageous Pakistani demands?

    In future the Pakistan Army would dictate that India should be kept out of Iran or Central Asia because Pakistan has imperial interests there. Would India accede to these demands? Obviously not; so why India is apologetic about the Indian presence in Afghanistan as only for economic reconstruction.

    India should adopt a more strident policy in Afghanistan and be overtly assertive in effecting a strategic presence in Afghanistan.

    General Kayani cannot be accommodated by India by exiting Afghanistan and yet again this issue shall persist as another “trust deficit” issue on which Pakistan would continue to be irreconcilable.

    Pakistan’s Demands on United States for Maintaining Balance of Power in South Asia

    The United States has all along over the last sixty three years has been subtly maintaining a balance of power in South Asia between India and Pakistan. American military aid and weapons supplies of advanced military hardware were given to Pakistan on different counts. It is even now taking place to meet General Kayani’s increasing demands stimulated by the fawning that the United States currently endows on him. All this has taken place despite India’s protestations.

    If after all this the Pakistan Army feels insecure then surely the United States does not expect India to fragment and be reduced to geographical lumps which the Pakistan Army can dominate.

    While in the past such demands were made by Pakistan in closed doors discussions with USA the public airing of such demands by the Pakistan Army Chief are ominous. India needs to take a serious note of this as the growing supply of advance US weapons systems to Pakistan Army makes it prone to additional military adventurism.

    India’s Cold Start War Doctrine: The Lowered Nuclear War Threshold Bogey

    India cannot be expected to shed its war-waging strategies to neutralize Pakistan Army’s aggressive instincts and propensity for conflict. India has adopted a nuclear doctrine which postulates ‘No First Use’ of nuclear weapons which Pakistan refuses to adopt.

    It is not India that has lowered the threshold of nuclear war in South Asia but Pakistan Army which has repeatedly declared that nuclear weapons would be used at the first instance to defend Pakistan.

    What is the aim of the Pakistan Army Chief General Kayani’s harping on the last three named issues? Either the Pakistan Army is fearful of India’s rising might or he is raising these bogeys to goad the United States into giving larger volumes of US military aid to Pakistan so that the ‘power differential’ of Pakistan with India gets that much more reduced.

    On all these last three-named issues India cannot do anything to reduce Pakistan Army’s insecurities arising from its asymmetries with India in every conceivable sphere?

    So if all these are pre-conditions before sustainable peace between India and Pakistan can be achieved, then realistically India should expect that the trust deficit that Pakistan feels overpowered with in relation to India would always persist as irreconcilable.

    Concluding Observations

    Peace and good neighborliness is not a one-way street as it takes two to make peace. In the case of Pakistan, India’s political leaders mistake the ardor of the average Pakistani citizen for peace like his Indian counterparts, as also the urge of the Pakistani governing establishment.

    The Pakistan governing establishment and more specifically the Pakistan Army would not be satisfied with anything less than the fragmentation of India so that their insecurities arising from their asymmetric disparities could disappear.

    Rather than “Knocking on Closed Doors” of the Pakistan governing establishment and making entreaties for solution of outstanding issues and peace and in the process reducing India to the level of a “strategic co-equal” of Pakistan, India’s political leadership would be well advised to “ignore Pakistan” as a strategic distraction and focus on the larger task of India’s trajectory to global power status.

    India can wait for a transformation within Pakistan where either the governing establishment changes its traditional mindsets against India by external pressures or the forces of history sweep away those who persist in forcing Pakistan to be in conflict with both its neighbors.

    Till then Pakistan’s trust deficit with India will persist and Indian political leadership’s entreaties for dialogue and peace with Pakistan will be misread as arising from India’s weakness in the face of Pakistan’s present strategies targeting India.

    In this process India will continue to be strategically diminished regionally and globally and India’s apex political leadership suffering growing “disconnect” with the overwhelming Indian public opinion which do not favor the ‘Pakistan appeasement’ policies of the current political dispensation.

    (The author is an International Relations and Strategic Affairs analyst. He is the Consultant, Strategic Affairs with South Asia Analysis Group. Email: [email protected])

    SAAG is the South Asia Analysis Group, a non-profit, non-commercial think tank. The objective of SAAG is to advance strategic analysis and contribute to the expansion of knowledge of Indian and International security and promote public understanding. In so doing, the SAAG seeks to address the decision makers, strategic planners, academics and the media in South Asia and the world at large. The group holds the concept of strategy in its broadest meaning-including mobilization and application of all resources to understand national and international security. The aim of the group is not to compete with Governments, Academics, NGOs or other institutions dealing with strategic analysis and national security but to provide another point of view for the decision makers and other national/international think tanks.

Share This Page