Great Cuckoo sightings

It is foolish to think that Pakistan supports terrorism because of Kashmir

An old intellectual affliction is returning. No, we are not referring to the increase in the sales of Karl Marx’s book. We are referring to the increase in the number of articles that chant “solve Kashmir to sort Pakistan out”.

Here’s another blog which, like its favourite analyst, has fallen prey to the Great Cuckoo:

few ask why Pakistan supported (and supports) the Taliban and various militant and terrorist groups. A key reason is India. Pakistan’s conventional forces are far inferior to India’s and Islamabad has lost many a war and minor clash to New Delhi before. Only through its nuclear arsenal and support for terrorism as a foreign policy tool can Pakistan equalize the situation. The primary reason for this is the ongoing dispute over Kashmir. Obama seems to get that before you get to Afghanistan, you must go through Pakistan, and before them, you must go through Kashmir. [Coming Anarchy]

Why is this absurd? Because nuclear deterrence reassures the Pakistani army against an Indian invasion. Remember, India did not expand the 1999 Kargil war to the international border. So the argument that Pakistan needs jihadis to defend itself against an Indian attack does not hold water, certainly not under conditions of nuclear deterrence.

On the contrary, jihadis are the problem—for India, but also for Pakistan—because they are agents of destabilisation in a nuclear setting. The last time there was a threat of war was when they attacked the Indian parliament. If, in the event, war didn’t actually break out, one suspects that nuclear weapons had something to do with it. Surely the Indian government was not deterred from ordering punitive strikes into Pakistani territory out of fear of jihadis?

Instead of concluding that getting rid of the jihadis is the solution to most of these problems, Chirol succumbs to the flawed logic that solving Kashmir (presumably to Pakistan’s satisfaction) will somehow cause the jihadis to go away. Go away where?

But Chirol is right about one thing: a key reason why Pakistan supports terrorists is, indeed, India itself. It’s hard to solve that one, though.

18 thoughts on “Great Cuckoo sightings”

  1. > But Chirol is right about one thing: a key reason why Pakistan supports terrorists is, indeed, India itself. It’s hard to solve that one, though.

    Nitin:
    You have seen the enemy, and it is us.

  2. From now on, whenever these people wonder why terrorism emanates from Pakistan, could someone please point them to that Economist article from decades back which said every Pakistani is being taught to be Aurangzeb in their schools.

    …and please dont forget to post a link here. I cant seem to find that article or a reference to it. I know I’ve read about it some where. Thanks.

  3. Well, since shri chirol has seen the light and admitted that Pak opnly supports terrorists and mass-manufactures jihadis in order to use them as instruments of state policy, should not the next logical step call for branding Pak as a sponsor of state terrorism?

    Or does the policy of using terrorists to further a state’s agenda (nothing new to Pakistan, BTW, recall the tribal lashkars sent into Kashmir in 1948 and the ‘liberal’ use of razakar muscle in both Hyderabad and Bangladesh) not count when it comes to Pakistan.

    The very fact that India’s name is being dragged into the debate is unseemly. ‘Pak harbors jihadi terrorists because…’ What follows because is immaterial. The fact that Pak sponsors terrorism would need to be sorted out first. One way to do that would be to look at Nepal, where the govt of the former guerrilas now demans that the Maoist cadre beinducted into the RNA. Perhaps, when the irregular Taleban are ‘regularised’ by induction into the Pak army, the enemy can better be identified and dealt with?

  4. And yes, the formal designation of a state as a state sponsor of terrorism is not inconsequential. Certainly, not when the designator is the US dept of state. Laws kick in the moment that happens and their purport would effectively bankrupt Pak within 72 hours – all foreign accounts frozen, all foreign assets sealed, all foreign trade jeopardized, all foreign investment evaporated and so on. And PAk is no Iran or Libya to survive that kinda blitz for more than a few days.

  5. Guys,

    Hello! Readers of this blog taking things like ‘branding’ Pak as a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ seriously? What has the world come to?

    Those days are gone.

    Right now, several thousand Americans get their daily bread through the Khyber pass.

  6. Nitin,
    Simple sighting whould have asked the reason for war in Afghanistan.
    Didn’t you see this like tracing 9/11 to Kashmir ?

  7. The US/NATO need to get their daily bread through independent Baluchistan.

    Like I’ve said, the Afghan-Pak territorial dispute predates the Indo-Pak dispute over Kashmir. Even if Kashmir were to disappear from the world map, this won’t cause the Afghan-Pak territorial dispute to magically go away.

    The Atlanticists are seeking to stir up the Kashmir dispute again, while placating Russia on its European borders. This is in line with their established strategy of trying to kill the Bear without damaging Europe in the process. They move to stabilize the Europea-Russia front, and then meanwhile they try to attack the Bear from its rear flank, over by CentralAsia/SouthAsia.

    The Atlanticists have a Euro-centric foreign policy. I think it can be deflected by promoting joint cooperation between Germany and Russia, as well as between France and Russia. India can also use its relationship with Iran to counteract any US tilt towards Pak on Kashmir.

  8. Interesting how no one in US even talks about the festering trouble in the middle east as the major cause for all the terrorist attacks on America and its allies in the past decade. The palestine issue, IMO, is a relatively easier one to solve and to be fair, the Jihadis actually have a stronger case on that issue.

    So its ok to persuade/force India to come to the table when it is threatened by terrorism, while even a faint hint that America should the same is unimaginable?

    The critical thing for India in the next few years – if it doesnt want to arm twisted by these liberal nitwits like Obama – is to ensure that its economy weathers the current economic hurricane successfully.

  9. Quite apparently, the basic point being made is lost on some critics at this blog.

    What basic point, one may ask? Well, that Pakistan’s support for terror as an instrument of state policy is being papered over on the alter of expediency. And it is sought to be packaged as and expected to be acceptable to India, in certain policy-influencing circles. Reminds one of the same expediency that allowed islamabad to acquire N weapons not oh-so-long ago.

    And this papering over is so much so that the chirol who Nitin links to fails to even acknowledge that terror as state policy cannot be negotiated with on any sustainable or yes, ‘fair’ basis. Not now, not ever.

    ‘Hey, thats how the world works!’ the ‘realist’ critics might admonish. Maybe so, but that doesn’t mean Indians should also forget what the nature of Pakistan and consequently of Indo-Pak relations was, is and will be regardless of the status of Kashmir.

    So yeah, smug commentary on the lines of ‘hey! wake up! hello! which world are you in! that world is gone!’ etc can be dispensed with. ThanQ but no ThanQ.

  10. Can we say the same about al Qaida? The reason al Qaida is terrorist group is because of US. Let’s hand over US to al Qaida and may be we won’t have an al Qaida problem. Surely US is the problem here 🙂

  11. Nitin,

    You seem to ignore that there is more to the Kashmir issue than just terrorism. The notion that terrorism is all there is to it is facile and self-serving. The current popularity of the azadi movement and India’s forceful response to it is a case in point. To believe India’s existence will always provoke Pakistani perfidy and therefore we should never negotiate with that country is to lock ourselves permanently into a state of confrontation shutting all doors to change. Of course, that will only serve to reinforce the suspicions of the other side. Quite the justification for a do nothing policy.

    It seems quite foolish a thing to do. Even enemies can and do make progress when they try – there are plenty of examples of that in history. The recent improvement in relations does suggest that change might be possible with some effort on both sides. If the two sides have indeed made progress through back channels, that again only goes to show that answers are indeed available if only one were to look for them and were willing to take the initiative to prepare their respective publics for them.

  12. Bobcat, we don’t even know who you are. You might as well be a Pakistan for all we know. I don’t see anything in your arguments even remotely worth considering. All you’ve done is duck the points that others have made to you. Again, your comments tell us more about you than about the subject you’re commenting upon.

  13. Bobcat,

    You seem to ignore that there is more to the Kashmir issue than just terrorism. The current popularity of the azadi movement and India’s forceful response to it is a case in point.

    That’s not accurate. Both on this blog, in my op-eds in the print media, and in articles in Pragati we have argued how the complex problems might be solved. But if you mean to suggest that terrorism is not a key problem and that separatism is not driven by Islamist motivations backed by Pakistan’s geopolitical agenda, then we must disagree.

    To believe India’s existence will always provoke Pakistani perfidy and therefore we should never negotiate with that country is to lock ourselves permanently into a state of confrontation shutting all doors to change.

    No not perfidy, but insecurity. The problem is that Pakistan has always attempted to solve its insecurity through perfidy and sponsorship of terrorism. Now such insecurities are structural, and exist between any two states. But not everyone resorts to sending terrorists to its neighbour, and in the process, come close to self-destruction.

  14. Sanjay,

    Please tackle arguments not people.

    This is a discussion forum not an echo-chamber, and it does not matter if the participants are from this country or that, as long as the comments are civil.

    But you are right on one thing: the comments say a lot about the person making them.

  15. Nitin, I have tackled his arguments, if you’d even bother to read the numerous points I’ve made. A guy like him won’t even address them, but just continues to talk past them. So spare me the empty witticisms. The fact is that there was no violence in Kashmir prior to Pakistan’s jihadist alliance with the West.
    Take a look at how Kashmiris helped to repulse Pakistan’s 1965 Operation Gibraltar. The fact is that Pakistan and its jihadis have played a game of “politique du pire” in J&K, and that’s what’s caused the discontent there.

  16. Sanjay,

    I recommend a reading of Praveen Swami’s book, also reviewed here. Pakistan has been fighting the proxy war since 1947.

    If someone does not respond to your arguments, then that’s fine. Those follow the debate can make up their minds. The injunction against personal attacks is not an “empty witticism”, it’s a gentle reminder of the rules.

  17. People who think pukes whine only because of Kashmir need to read puke texts (go to Bharat-Rakshak or India-Forum).

    They want to make Bharat a Mughalistan. And then “islamize” (whatever that means) the rest of the world.

    Say it loud, say it clear: vote BJP
    (No I don’t get paid by the BJP)

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