It goes in cycles
The Indian Express has changed its editorial stance after the Delhi Diwali blasts. Any reasonable person would do that. While its taking a hard-nosed attitude on the approach towards Gen Musharraf is a welcome development, especially if it reflects (or leads) public opinion in India, the fear is that such an attitude may not survive the next ‘historic gesture’. Hardening of attitudes after being attacked is always followed by a premature outpouring of forgiveness and goodwill that accompanies the next Indian attempt to find peace. India will find that peace elusive until it learns how to break free from this cycle.
By turning the other cheek to Pakistanâ€™s provocations, the UPA government is in fact undermining its own ability to negotiate purposefully with Pakistan. If Delhi now responds to some of the more reasonable Pakistani demands on Kashmir, it would encourage the misperception in Rawalpindi that terrorist violence could be leveraged to extract political concessions from Delhi.
If India listlessly continues with the peace process â€” too angry to move forward but too anxious not to break it â€” it would be asking for more terrorism from Pakistan supported militancy in Kashmir. The time has come for Delhi to dispel the impression in Pakistan that India has no option but to stay with the peace process. Delhi must convey in unambiguous terms to both Islamabad and Washington that if Musharraf does not rein in the Lashkar and order an end to terrorist violence in India, it would be free to think of unpleasant alternatives. If Musharraf fails to act on his own promises to end terrorism, India will have to conclude that Musharraf is either too weak or too untrustworthy to be a credible interlocutor. [IE]
But Musharraf has already failed to act on his own promises, so India (and the Indian Express) should already have concluded that Musharraf is either too weak or too untrustworthy to be a credible interlocutor.
5 thoughts on “The dawn of realisation”
Let’s hope the rest of the media, especially TV news programs, will follow IE’s reasonable and responsible lead.
‘unambiguous terms’ is a very tricky term. Unless coupled with action, it would mean nothing.
Nitin, agree. Mush should exhausted the benefit of doubt of the most pacifist Indians by now. Going forward (and assuming nothing’s going to change with the Pak paramilitary aka the jihadis), dealing with this guy is not tolerance, it’s plain stupidity. Let’s not forget Kargil, the coup, Delhi 10/29, Akshardham, constant Kashmir strife. Let’s not forget Dawood and Shakeel live king’s lives in Karachi – with the blood of over 1000 Mumbaikars on their hands – protected by the same fools we try to reason with.
The fool acts like he’s doing everyone a favor by “clamping down” on the jihadis. Dealing with him is the same as bowing to his unspoken threat of letting the jihadis loose.
Nitin, I agree with your agrument. But I do not think that this is the appropriate time to engage Pakistan more agressively. We are making the right move by improving our relations with the US. However to use this new friendship as a leverage to persuade/coerce Pakistan into changing its dangerous policy of using terrorism, we must wait until Pakistan is no longer useful to the US. This will happen eventually, but will take time. Pakistan’s only major ally in the region then will be China, which will then be placed in a position of deciding between Pakistan and proving its friendly intentions towards India. Finally, time will only create a greater economic and military imbalance between India and Pakistan.
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