As it slides down the slippery slope, India’s vision is becoming clouded
The Indian Express offers that India must concede something more substantial for Pakistan to be seen as gaining something.
For a peace process to succeed each side must be committed to peace. But each side also likes to come away from any process with a sense of having gained something. Coming up with a formula that allows both sides to declare victory isnâ€™t easy. The Indo-Pak peace process faces this challenge.
India is right to insist that any withdrawal of troops must be contingent upon a decrease in terrorism in J&K. But there is a larger question that India will have to confront. What can India offer that will allow President Musharraf to walk away with the sense that Pakistan gained something from the process? [IE]
Emotional and intellectual investment in the peace process has clouded this newspaper’s judgement.
Here’s another way of looking at it. As long as Pakistan continues in the pursuit of proxy-war against India, it cannot be seen as anything but an aggressor. The only proper way to deal with Pakistani aggression is to threaten punitive retaliation (and carry it out if it comes to that). Seen from this perspective, Pakistan will certainly be gaining something (ie removal of a threat) if it agrees to stop cross-border terrorism. Peace is its own reward — this is as true for Pakistan as it is for India. And India must drive that point home.
There is absolutely no need to concede anything more to Pakistan. Doing so will only mean India accepts Pakistan’s nuclear blackmail. There is absolutely no need to concede anything to Gen Musharraf to keep him in power. He is quite capable of doing that without Indian assistance. Pakistan may not be able to win Kashmir by its infamous strategy of bleeding India ‘through a thousand cuts’; but India is showing signs that it is clearly capable of giving that and a lot more away, ‘through a thousand bits’.