The profound foreign secretary

“We know Pakistani territory is used by groups which engage in all sorts of activities—terrorism, drugs. There are groups in Pakistan which export various forms of instability… That is different than saying Pakistan is doing it.” Those groups might involve the ISI, or the Pakistani army, but are they ‘Pakistan’? No, they are just groups that engage in all sorts of activities.

It was not a good idea to give Pakistan a clean chit on cross-border terrorism

India is certainly findit it hard to grapple with the tit-for-tat problem. Here’s what Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon said recently

We know Pakistani territory is used by groups which engage in all sorts of activities—terrorism, drugs. There are groups in Pakistan which export various forms of instability… That is different than saying Pakistan is doing it.” [TOI]

You might not have caught it, but that’s rather profound. Those groups might involve the Jaish-e-Mohammed, ISI, or the Pakistani army, but are they ‘Pakistan’? No, they are just groups that engage in all sorts of activities. The profoundly philosophical point that Mr Menon was trying to make is that there is no government in Pakistan, or even that there is no Pakistan. There are merely groups that engage in all sorts of activities.

Sarcasm apart, Mr Menon’s remarks demonstrate just how much of a high-wire balancing act India has to do between hurting Musharraf & Co and itself being hurt by Pakistani exports. Still, it should have been possible to manage the situation without so clearly absolving the Pakistani government of culpability in cross-border terrorism. The official spokesman of the ministry of external affairs would do well to issue a clarification.

3 thoughts on “The profound foreign secretary”

  1. That’s not profound or philosophical. The groups are not the country – diplomatically, as India neither under Vajpayee nor under Manmohan has not proved that. We have circumstantial evidence, a lot of it. And then, there is no court to go and prove it to, which will take a decision against Pakistan and we win and are happy!

    For the sake of argument, assume for a second that it is Pakistan, not the groups. Pakistan, as in the Pakistan army directly, openly.

    What do we do? Attack?

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