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Same Old


Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has come up with the same old spiel in response to India’s allegation that the Pulwama terrorist strike originated from his country. This is despite the credit taken for the attack by the Pakistan based terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed, which amounts to a voluntary confession. Khan has sought ‘actionable proof’ from India for him to take action. He has reiterated the same old demand that talks be held to resolve the situation and, of course, has blamed the troubles in Kashmir on India’s alleged human rights violations.
India has been down that road before. Prime Minister Modi, when he came to power, gave Pakistan a chance to mend its ways by attempting to build a working relationship with the political leadership of that country. Not only did he invite PM Nawaz Sharif for his swearing-in, but cultivated the relationship further. This was to no avail for, as always, the Pakistani deep state subverted its own civilian government with cross-border attacks in Pathankot and Uri. The Indian Government naturally changed tack and resolved to punish the establishment in Pakistan by working on isolating it in the international community. At the same time, the screws were tightened on the terrorists and the separatists in Kashmir. This proactive approach, instead of the traditionally reactive one, has led to an increased casualty rate, but the pressure has been felt by the enemy, which is why the desperate measures are being resorted to. These include the attempt to heat up the cross-border and LoC firings, in which Pakistan got the worse of the exchange. Now has come the suicide bombing.
That India’s diplomatic and economic pressure worked is evident from the fact that Pakistan is on the brink of bankruptcy and is having to compromise on its sovereignty by basically selling out to Saudi Arabia, UAE and China. This will cause increased internal differences between the people and the security establishment, which will be hard to reconcile. There is only so much deception that can be carried out in the name of Kashmir.
Imran Khan cannot walk the talk. If he does try in any way to improve relations with India, he will suffer the same fate as Nawaz Sharif and others who came before. He is already the most compromised among Pakistan’s Prime Ministers. The billions he has got as handouts from other countries will not repair the fundamental flaws in his country’s economy and strategic positioning. India will continue its pressure within the vast spectrum of options that lie between the extremes of nuclear war and barbaric terrorism.