Millennium Post

Another Promise!

Alongside US President Barack Obama, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has expressed zero tolerance against all terrorist networks, including the Haqqani network and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). There has also been a decision, calling for sustained dialogue between India and Pakistan on all pending disputes, including the Kashmir crisis. This is a significant move by the Pakistani Prime Minister, in light of the LeT’s reported role in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. The attack, according to various reports, was allegedly planned on Pakistani soil. Prime Minister Sharif confirmed to the media that Pakistan will not allow any extremist organisation to misuse Pakistani territory against any other country.

In the recent past, the US has been hinting at increased support towards the Modi-led Indian government. Sharif highlighted this tilt, saying that such show of support to one particular nation would result in a strategic imbalance within the region. The whole discussion began when Obama expressed his concern over a balance in the equation between states in South Asia, saying stability among nations is of crucial importance. Both India and Pakistan have had mutual concerns over terrorism in the past. However, with both nations not missing out on any opportunity to blame one another for ceasefire violations time and again, there has hardly been any scope for discussion on other issues. Things further worsened when Pakistan presented “evidence” during the meeting about Indian alleged insurgencies in Baluchistan.

When the two leaders discussed these issues in detail, they concluded that the lack of dialogue and peaceful negotiation was what was missing between the two neighbouring nations. The lack of confidence in one another was down to a lack of trust, which has been built up over years since Independence. Therefore, the resolution of such issues is of extreme importance to peace between the two nations would automatically ensure a collective effort on the eradication of terrorism, which seems rather far-fetched at the moment. President Obama further spoke about the sacrifices Pakistan has made over the years naming the latter as their counter- terrorism partner. Obama in his speech recognised all the Pakistani civilians, army personnel and law enforcement officers who have fought for years countering militant groups.

Earlier, under US pressure, Pakistan had arrested about 20 militants including LeT operative Lakhvi, the real mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. It was finally in February 2009, after almost a year of the investigation that Pakistan had admitted that five of the captured attackers were of Pakistani origin. Although this was the first step, justice did not quite prevail, as far as the Pakistani judicial system is concerned. However, Obama was appreciative of Pakistan’s efforts at peace in Afghanistan as the Americans are not in a situation to fight the Taliban in the country. The US has approximately 10,000 troops stationed in the country. However, one can only hope that Sharif has something genuine in mind, unlike the past. Both India and Pakistan must establish a sense of hope that peace can arrive. The process of resolution can bridge this bitter rift.
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