Millennium Post

Pakistan hasn’t learnt its lessons

Days after Pakistan’s notorious Inter-Services Intelligence agency had been provided Rs 600 million to accomplish a ‘special assignment’ on the directive of the newly elected prime minister Nawaz Sharif, a fresh feat to still worsen the already horribly deteriorated Indo-Pak ties has been achieved. It has arrived in the garb of a budgetary allocation of Rs 61 million to Jamaat-ud-Sawa (JuD), the parent body of the banned terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba that carried out, among other hideous terrorist strikes on the Indian soil, the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Yet, in the budget for the current fiscal by Pakistan’s Punjab province government headed by Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz Sharif) party, the generous grant aid for ‘Markaz-e-Taiba’, the largest centre of the JuD, has been prioritised, while the provincial government has allocated an additional Rs 350 million for setting up a ‘Knowledge Park’ at the centre along with other ‘development initiatives.’ Interestingly, in the wake of both the monetary aids, we are confronted with reports of violation of ceasefire in Poonch, with unprovoked firing from the Pakistani side on the Indian posts at the hilly terrain in Jammu and Kashmir. It is ironical enough that Sharif, who recently vouched, in his swearing-in ceremony, to reset Indo-Pak relations back on track and to mend the falling bridges linking the two partly estranged but neighbouring countries, has been heedless in doling out massive aids to the organisation that is headed by the most wanted man on India’s list of terrorists and perpetrators of global jihad. Instead, Sharif’s government, both at the centre and within the Punjab province, has already raised its recklessness quotient by showering the banned fronts with copious state funds, as an adjunct measure to bolster the infamous spy agency ISI and its terrorist appendages.      

Evidently, Pakistan has had no change of heart or behaviour, even after a democratically elected government has been put at the helm of affairs and after a historic transition from one civilian government to another. Thoughtlessly enough, Pakistan, particularly its egregious and pugnacious military, has needlessly incited a gratuitous exchange of firing round at the Line of Control, barely months after the erstwhile violation of ceasefire in March this year. Taken together, Pakistan’s aggression is showing no signs of mellowing down, despite the state’s pledges to the contrary, and this confrontational stance, a worse emulation of the recent Sino-Indian standoff in Ladakh, is likely to fan insurgency further in the already stricken Kashmir Valley.  Given Kashmir’s tortured history, particularly since it got trapped in the circuit of jihadi terrorism, cross-border disturbances, both ideological and armed, have been wreaking havoc in the region. While the Indian government has rightly insisted on peaceful resolutions and more dialogues, Pakistan has been extremely nonchalant and inadequate in its response, not only by failing to curb the terrorist elements within its own territory, but, in fact, actively supporting and sponsoring them, such as in the latest instances of granting substantial aids to ISI and JuD under peculiar and shoddy pretexts. Though it is now widely accepted that LeT is a proxy front of the ISI, the Pakistani government’s turning a blind eye to the documented proofs clearly point to a rocky road ahead for the South Asian neighbours.  
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