PM’S VISIT GAVE MIXED RE­SULTS : A VIEWPOINT

SP's MAI - - FRONT PAGE - LT GEN­ERAL (RETD) P.C. KA­TOCH

It is no se­cret that US has been seek­ing Pak­istan’s as­sis­tance to open di­a­logue with the Tal­iban for a po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion in Afghanistan which is utopian but Pak­istani diplo­macy has kept the US dream alive in this con­text

Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh’s visit to the United States has been a mixed bag of re­sults. While the fo­cus of the visit was to at­tend the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly and meet Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif, the lat­ter event was over­shad­owed by the das­tardly ter­ror­ist at­tacks on Hira Na­gar Po­lice Sta­tion and an Army unit in Samba sec­tor.

The hall­mark of the meet­ing with Obama was op­er­a­tional­is­ing the civil nu­clear deal – Nu­clear Power Cor­po­ra­tion of In­dia (NPCIL) a West­ing­house (US) to de­velop a nu­clear power plant in Gu­jarat, and sub­se­quently NPCIL in con­junc­tion with West­ing­house and Gen­eral Elec­tric-Hi­tachi to es­tab­lish nu­clear power plants in Gu­jarat and Andhra Pradesh. The Joint Dec­la­ra­tion does men­tion en­hanc­ing part­ner­ship in de­fence tech­nol­ogy trans­fer, joint re­search, co-de­vel­op­ment and co-pro­duc­tion, plus ex­pand­ing home­land se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion, etc., be­sides con­demn­ing ter­ror­ism.

How­ever, there was no in­di­ca­tion from Obama that US would pres­sure Pak­istan to close down her ter­ror in­fra­struc­ture and stop the proxy war against In­dia. It is no se­cret that US has been seek­ing Pak­istan’s as­sis­tance to open di­a­logue with the Tal­iban for a po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion in Afghanistan which is utopian but Pak­istani diplo­macy has kept the US dream alive in this con­text. But this is only a de­vel­op­ment in last three to four years. The fact is that since the last decade in­clud­ing when US launched its GWOT, it turned a Nel­son’s eye to the Lashkar-e Toiba (LeT) that has been at­tack­ing In­dia reg­u­larly. US Preda­tor at­tacks have also de­lib­er­ately avoided the LeT un­der se­cret un­der­stand­ing with Pak­istan, as re­vealed re­cently. US has been fully aware of the 42 ter­ror­ist camps in the Pak­istan oc­cu­pied Kash­mir (PoK).

Not with­out rea­son Ash­ley Tel­lis of the Carnegie En­doW­ment, wrote, “In­dia be­ing con­tin­u­ously sub­jected to ter­ror ac­tu­ally suits many... In­dia is a sponge that ab­sorbs global ter­ror. There has been no ap­par­ent con­cern in the US re­gard­ing Chi­nese in­cur­sions and in­tru­sions in In­dia and Bhutan, which gives the im­pres­sion US is com­fort­able with th­ese de­vel­op­ments and only seeks In­dia’s role in the In­dian and Pa­cific oceans as part of its Asia pivot.

Noth­ing could be ex­pected from the meet­ing with Nawaz Sharif in the first place. His ad­dress at the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly left no doubt. His re­quest for self-de­ter­mi­na­tion in Kash­mir is laugh­able. The 1948 UN Res­o­lu­tion on Kash­mir through which Pak­istan still de­mands plebiscite has cat­e­gor­i­cal pre­con­di­tion that Pak­istan with­draw all her se­cu­rity forces from ter­ri­tory of Jammu and Kash­mir (J&K) prior to plebiscite. Pak­istan did the op­po­site and, un­like In­dia, dras­ti­cally al­tered de­mog­ra­phy of PoK by de­sign. More im­por­tantly, re­sults of the first-ever poll on both sides of the line of con­trol in J&K con­ducted by the Royal In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Af­fairs (Chatam House), UK, in con­junc­tion with King’s Col­lege dur­ing 2009-10 brought out that 98 per cent of peo­ple in J&K do not wish to be part of Pak­istan and 50 per cent of peo­ple in PoK do not wish to re­main with Pak­istan.

Sig­nif­i­cantly, this poll was at the be­hest of Pervez Mushar­raf and fi­nanced by Gaddafi’s son. Nawaz Sharif in the same ap­point­ment had met Prime Min­is­ter I.K. Gu­jral, did noth­ing to curb ter­ror even when In­dia for­bade in­tel­li­gence op­er­a­tives go­ing to Pak­istan. When Prime Min­is­ter Atal Be­hari Va­j­payee trav­elled to La­hore to meet him, Mushar­raf, his army chief, was busy stab­bing In­dia in Kargil. His feign­ing that he does not know about the Kargil in­tru­sions can hardly fool any­one. But the hard fact is that to­day (as al­ways) he is a mere pup­pet in the hands of the Pak­istani mil­i­tary ir­re­spec­tive of who the army chief is. The proof lies in his in­abil­ity to act against the per­pe­tra­tors of 26/11 Mum­bai ter­ror­ist at­tacks and shut down ter­ror­ist camps, in­abil­ity to heel the mil­i­tary and the ISI, in­tran­si­gence to his own con­stituency of­fi­cially dol­ing out mil­lions of ru­pees to ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions, full sup­port to rad­i­cals like Hafiz Saeed hold­ing open anti-In­dia ral­lies, etc.

The present ten­ure of Nawaz Sharif will be no dif­fer­ent from the in­ca­pac­ity dis­played in his pre­vi­ous tenures to check Pak­istan’s state pol­icy of ter­ror­ism and Pak­istani mil­i­tary to con­tinue wag­ing proxy war on In­dia, which is likely to be ac­cel­er­ated post-US with­drawal from Afghanistan. Be­sides, he now has more Chi­nese back­ing for be­ing mis­chievous. Oh yes, he would ex­pect In­dia to con­tinue giv­ing more and more con­ces­sions with­out any Pak­istani re­cip­ro­ca­tion what­so­ever!

SP The views ex­pressed herein are the per­sonal views of the au­thor.

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