Millennium Post

Myopia towards Pakistan

It is not surprising that Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari raked up the issue of Kashmir in the United Nations General Assembly, terming Kashmir to be a ‘symbol of the failures’ of the United Nations and extending support for the people of Jammu & Kashmir. Thus Pakistan has once again taken a diametrically opposed stand to that of India that Jammu & Kashmir is an intergral part of this country. This is not at all surprising as this approach has been Pakistan’s standard outlook towards India over several decades. It is, however, in sharp contrast to Pakistan’s pious declarations, in recent months, that it was willing to put contentious issues such as Kashmir on the backburner so that progress could be made on issues such as trade. That Pakistan has raised the issue of Kashmir in the UN shows that there has been no fundamental change in its outlook vis-a-vis relations with India and that it still covets parts of Indian territory and that it doesnot seriously intend to improve relations with this country. Pakistan has once again caught Indian diplomacy on the backfoot, showing it to be flatfooted, for, over the last several months, India has been infatuated by the noises that have emmanated from Pakistan that have suggested that it wanted nothing else but peace and better relations with India.  Most unfortunately, the Indian government has not been able to see through the subterfuge and, instead, has fallen for the trick, believing that the hostile neighbour had had a change of heart. Without giving much thought to the matter, it has opened up the country with a slew of confidence building measures, particularly in trade, that are far ahead of what the ground realities of Indo-Pak relations merit.  Many of these steps, which have been hurriedly taken, are actually likely to make the country more vulnerable from the national security point of view and the damage done will be difficult to control.

Moreover, it has been exceedingly foolish of India to downplay its earlier insistance on the shutting down of terror-training camps in Pakistan that lead to the infiltration of jihadi elements into India, particularly Jamnu and Kashmir, with the intent to destabilise the country. This was earlier an important pre-condition for progress in talks between the two countries. Pakistan has also not been very cooperative in investigations in terrorist attacks nor has it repatriated wanted terrorists and India has  nearly been taken for a ride on contentious issues such as the Siachin glacier. In short, the Congress-led  UPA government’s policy towards Pakistan has been so myopic and thoughtless as to have nearly wrecked the carefully caliberated policy of this country towards its hostile neighbour.       
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