Chellaney's critique of India's illfated Pakistan Policy

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Singh, May 30, 2012.

  1. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

    Feb 23, 2009
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    Although old, yet still relevant.


    Even though India’s extended hand has been slapped again and again by Pakistan, right-minded Indians still desire peace and stability on the subcontinent — but with dignity. Instead
    of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s one-sided commitment to “go more than half
    the way” to make peace with Pakistan, India’s correct position
    should be that it is ever ready to walk more than half the distance on
    cooperation or confrontation, depending on whether Pakistan wants peace or war.

    Singh’s recent statements in Parliament point to the fallacies
    on which he has been reconstructing his Pakistan policy. His personal
    imprint on that policy bears at least eight perilous misconceptions.

    One,political geography is unalterable. “We
    cannot wish away the fact that Pakistan is our neighbor,” Singh says. So, “a stable, peaceful and prosperous Pakistan” is in India’s “own interest.” But political maps are never carved in stone, as the
    breaking away of Bangladesh, Eritrea and East Timor showed. In fact,
    the most-profound global events in recent history have been the
    fragmentation of several states, including the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. Pakistan — the world’s Terroristan rolled into an Anarchistan — looks increasingly decrepit and combustible.

    The redrawing of the “Afpak” political frontiers indeed may
    be essential for regional and international security. The British-drawn Durand
    Line, in any case, has ceased to exist in effect, making a Pashtunistan no
    longer look implausible. The “moth-eaten” Pakistan, as its founder called it,
    now resembles a Molotov cocktail waiting for a match.

    Two, India and Pakistan are locked by a shared
    destiny. Therefore, “our objective must be a permanent peace with Pakistan, where
    we are bound together by a shared future and a common prosperity.” Despite
    Singh’s constant harping on a “shared destiny,” how can a plural, inclusive and democratic India share a common future with a theocratic, militarized and radicalized Pakistan?
    In fact, Pakistan, with its “war of a thousand cuts,” poses an existential threat to the very principles and values on which India is founded.

    Three, the alternative to a policy seeking to placate a terror-exporting adversary is war. “It is in our vital interest to make sincere efforts to live in peace with Pakistan … There
    is no other way unless we go to war.” Lest his message not be clearly
    understood, Singh repeated: “Unless we want to go to war with Pakistan,
    dialogue is the only way out.” This draws on the classic argument of appeasers
    that the only alternative to appeasement is provocation or conflict. The simple
    truth is that between bending backwards and waging aggression lie a hundred
    different options.

    Yet, by greeting each major cross-border terror strike in
    recent years with complete inaction, Singh has speciously suggested to the
    nation that the only alternative to such abysmal pusillanimity is war. After 26/11, for example,
    Singh exercised not one of the multiple political, economic and diplomatic
    options he had —from recalling the high commissioner from Islamabad and
    disbanding the farcical Joint Anti-Terror Mechanism to designating Pakistan’s Inter-Services
    Intelligence as a terrorist organization and invoking trade sanctions. As a result, India ended up not taking the smallest of small steps even as a token expression of outrage over Pakistan’s role.

    Four, India cannot emerge as a world power without making peace with Pakistan. “I sincerely believe India cannot realize its development ambition or its ambition of being a great power
    if our neighborhood remains disturbed … it is in our vital interest, therefore,
    to try again to make peace with Pakistan.”
    To say that the country cannot emerge as a major power without making peace
    with an adversary wedded to waging war by terror is to go against the grain of
    world history and to encourage the foe to hold India’s progress hostage. Does
    Singh wish to egg on Pakistan to have its cake and eat it too — wage unconventional war while enjoying the comfort offered by Indian-initiated conciliation and peace talks?

    Next-door China has emerged as a global player by building comprehensive national power, not by
    coming to terms with Taiwan, which it has kept under a threat of military invasion. Beijing
    also has pursued a consistently assertive approach toward India for long.

    Singh does not understand that the irredentist Pakistan is locked in mortal combat with the
    status quoist India, seeking its salvation in India’s unravelling.Even if India
    handed Kashmir Valley on a platter, Pakistan’s war by terror would not end.

    Five, as India has nothing to hide and indeed “our
    conduct is an open book,” it can let Pakistan include any issue in the
    bilateral agenda. “We are not afraid of discussing any issue of concern
    between the two countries. If there are any misgivings, we are willing to
    discuss them and remove them.” It was such logic that permitted Pakistan to turn its terror target, India, into an accused on Baluchistan.

    Singh’s attempt to rationalize that blunder, though, threatens
    to exacerbate matters. Not “afraid of discussing any issue” extends an invitation to Pakistan
    to place on the bilateral agenda any subject it wants, including a matter
    internal to India.

    Six, if Pakistan merely acknowledges what is
    incontrovertible, that is enough for India to change policy course. “This
    is the first time that Pakistan has … admitted that their nationals and a terrorist organization based in Pakistan carried out a ghastly terrorist act in India.” That prompted the policy change at Sharm-el-Sheikh, Singh divulged.

    That it took Pakistan more six months even to submit a
    detailed response to India’s dossier of evidence, that its response states
    upfront that the state-sponsored group involved in the Mumbai attacks — the
    Lashkar-e-Taiba — is a “defunct” organization against which no action thus is
    possible, that Islamabad has publicly discredited Indian evidence against the No.
    1 mastermind, Hafiz Saeed, as “propaganda” and freed him, that the Pakistani
    terrorist-training camps along the India border remain operational, and that
    Pakistan has rubbished India’s demand to hand over 42 fugitives like Dawood
    Ibrahim, Tiger Memon, Chota Shakeel and Lakhbir Singh — all that doesn’t
    matter. What matters is an admission of what no longer is deniable.

    Seven, high-level dialogue and “meaningful” dialogue can be optically delinked. Those not paying attention to Singh’s word play would have missed the distinction he drew
    in his July 29 speech: “We can have a meaningful
    dialogue with Pakistan only if they fulfill their commitment, in letter and spirit, not to allow their
    territory to be used in any manner for terrorist activities against India.”
    However, at the level of prime minister, foreign minister and foreign
    secretary, India will continue its dialogue with Pakistan on “all outstanding
    issues,” irrespective of whether Pakistan demonstrates its anti-terror bona fides
    or not. Such casuistry is designed to carve space for the misbegotten

    Eight, diplomacy of hope and prayer makes sense. “I hope and pray that the leadership in Pakistan will have the strength and the courage to defeat those who want to destroy, not just peace between India and Pakistan, but the future of South Asia.” Wishful
    thinking has long hobbled Indian foreign policy. Now, in the glaring absence of
    holistic, institutionalized decision-making, prayers are being added to the

    Yet, even God cannot help those praying for Pakistan to kick its terrorism habit. A state that has employed armed proxies against India virtually from its inception cannot do without them. A de-terrorized Pakistan will become an extinct Pakistan.

    The fallacies behind India’s Pakistan policy | Stagecraft and Statecraft
    panduranghari likes this.
  3. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

    Oct 15, 2011
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    Sometimes being too intelligent is a drawback [that was meant for MMS not Chellaney]
  4. panduranghari

    panduranghari Senior Member Senior Member

    Jan 2, 2012
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    Intelligent? Intelligent man makes a mistake and rectifies it and does not make the same one again. I doubt is MMS has intelligence to understand this.
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    An interesting article that seems to address the malaise.

    However, one gets the feeling that Manmohan is being guided by international powers that be to maintain a strategic equilibrium in the region.

    An economist is no strategist. They are what the Punjabis say 'Bai Khata' (educated in a sneering way) types or what Bengalis say "Pordua Patha" (Educated Goat) type.

    Or is Manmohan being a real sharp cookie who is disarming all to strike when the iron is hot?

    If that is so, he has got all fooled, including most Indians too!!
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
    panduranghari likes this.
  6. rock127

    rock127 Maulana Rockullah Senior Member

    Aug 12, 2009
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    MMS is a economist and not a Politician/Strategist.... and even being a economist India has so much corruption/inflation.

    India lacks strategist and visionary leaders. India's softie approach is responsible for Pakis jumping so much.

    The image of MMS is like "I am sorry, I am a kathputli, mujhe maaf karon bharatwasion"

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