Monday, January 4, 2016

India's Pakistan problem

There is no doubt about it now - India has a problem, a big one, and it is Pakistan.

But the real statement is, or should be - India has a problem, a big one, and it is the non-civil-government agents of Pakistan, who are out of civilian control totally.

I have worded this carefully, as I understand that
  • Pakistan's civil government may actually want peace with India
  • Pakistan's army may not entirely want disturbance this side of its border as they are at the receiving end of terror anyway
  • Pakistan's non-civil actors (some fringes of its army, or the ISI, or some radical break-away groups or some radical individuals) may never want peace with India
  • Some terror groups that are enemies of Pakistan may carry out attacks here in India as that suits their final motive (India gets angry, talks derail, skirmishes happen, Pakistan pays a price etc.)
Irrespective of the subtleties of the argument describing today's situation, India is definitely a loser in it, as our sole worthy aim - raising the hundreds of millions out of poverty and into prosperity - gets defeated. Our focus dilutes. We deviate. The national debates change all over again. Not good.

Meanwhile, uncle Xi smiles in Beijing. He would be happy India is temporarily derailed. His huge One-Road-One-Belt strategy could ask for nothing else. If India loses its way, China gains in a big way (a crudely put statement that's true nonetheless especially given the increasing difficulty Xi faces in controlling democratic impulses of his citizens now).

So what can India do? We must ensure that 
  1. A separate dedicated part of our foreign service is created solely for Pakistan and China issues (so that the larger world engagement does not suffer at all)
  2. We must repeatedly remind everyone that prosperity and economic growth is crucial to the Indian dream, irrespective of terror attacks (as that alone will ensure our hotheads stay in control - poverty is big problem)
  3. We develop trade linkages with Pakistan as economic ties cool sectarian tensions substantially
  4. We remain united internally
This graph from The Economist tells it all. We lose focus on this, we lose a lot.

GDP India Pakistan Sri Lanka Economist Sandeep Manudhane SM sir
Poor, us all

A very difficulty time for everyone. And the least propitious one for internal bickerings.

Peace, everyone.
~

9 comments:

NIKUL JANI said...

I agree entirely with you sir.saw a program on loksabha TV today where ambassador katjuji talked about how India needs a clear cut policy on Pakistan.He said,like you that India needs a separate plan of action just for pak and China.

Nakul Khanna said...

Sir can't India learn from Isreal's -disproportionate warfare how aggressively it responds back to any attack done by Palestine or the countries from the Arab world ?

Abhijeet Salvi said...

Sir, i agree with you, we should understand the fact that "you can change friends but not neighbours". from the example of European story and deadly wars we know that war is not always a solution. we should remind people that, "to get rich is glorious" and put efforts in developing trade and commerce in the region. If both the economies get integrated then support to extremist groups will reduce.

Sudip Das said...

It is not easy for India to handle Pak
1.As long as there is no stable Govt. in Pak, always a potential threat for India.
2.The single word that decide the geopolitics is INTEREST. Pak have contrary interest with its different group So it is easy to manipulate Pak by anyone(grand pa XI is exactly doing this thing)

I think If India is start collaborating with civil body(PAK).Then there chance of interference by Xi with the non-civil body .After that Russia and America don't want to miss there chance .
Modi have to take china more seriously …

Ajulkumar Pandya said...

India and Pakistan are socially very much equal, economic ties are beneficial to both countries as both are suffering extreme economic diversities internally. But, Budget of Pak Army is build on strategy against India. Indian Political Executive must engage with PAK Defence establishment to make political promises real. Indian Foreign Services is still in Nehruvian age and it is essential to upgrade it to 21st century. For India, CHINA and Pakistan are different problems. Success of India's Act East Policy and SAARC policy can be successful only if India keeps divergence in engagement with both countries, independent DESK in South Block is essential for this.

deepak joshi said...

Unputdonable,

brajesh kumar said...

India is not only country having problem with neighbour. We can see the case of Israel and Palestine, china and Japan, north Korea and south Korea etc.-this problem start with a reason and get complicated over the time, so solution is not possible in sot duration.After a time people get educated then they can take their decision own not cajole by other.
But i am completely agree that economic is one way to cover all the problem.It's also true that education will play a major role.

Rishabh Paliwal said...

How I understood the situation, there must be some economic benefit for a side which is behind the curtains and India and Pakistan and terrorist organisations are just pawns for their benefit.

vishal Kewlani said...

Pakistan is none other than a brother of india of old times.And people living there are none than human beings. It should be noticed that people who attack are not pakistan citizens only , some of them are indian as well. Instead of political connections , human connection should be built.