Once again after the Gurdaspur terror attack all hell is opened and top to bottom Indian media is blaming Pakistan, Ambassador Visit to Punjab is cancelled, so is the cricket series. It is a standard pattern in India as inner elements of the establishment and now BJP itself is not very keen to normalise relations. On our side, Pakistan’s society as whole is under extreme pressures from the doings and undoing of our own. Frustration within the individual and the tension are tearing us apart. The communities, societal groups and various strata are either involved or confused. Drawing room intellectuals are professing dooms day scenarios Many of them mentally and some time physically aligned to the enemies of Pakistan.
As the RAW has penetrated deep in strata, top to bottom, there are elements in the pay of foreign agencies, donors and NGOs who advance their own agenda. Politicians make laws for the own self interest and personal advancement. The name of the constitution is used to perpetuate hegemony, strengthened their personal empires, family rule, all in the name of democracy. The elements in bureaucracy play second fiddle to the politicians for survival and some time gains. The nation which came in to being with a distinct ideology has fallen victim to the doings of the greedy and power hungry feudal politicians.
In this historical perspective, India is only gaining time to fool the world. There no chance for the track two diplomacy? The previous members of track two, most of them well known to me, has not been able achieve any meaning full head way. It is going to be the same again and ironically it suits India, as talks continue lingering for years without any commitment. In Vietnam War days, track two diplomacy continued for years without any success. There were false hopes sometime but dashed next day. The end result was the continuity of war and subsequent US defeat. In the case of Palestine even after three decades the progress was made only when Arafat and the Israelis had a meeting courtesy the US. Similarly, in South Africa the progress was only made when regime directly negotiated with Nelson Mandela. The same is the case is in Iran the USA, EU and Iranian delegations has been meeting directly and thus headway has been made.
In the case of India and Pakistan, India claim, Shimla agreement has closed the door for the internationalisation of the Kashmir, and same is the case in water issue. Indus Water treaty has closed the door for any international participation except the provisions enunciated in the treaty itself. Factually the position taken by the India is far from truth. The last clauses of the Shimla Agreement, clearly state, the parties involved will solve the issue bilaterally, not with standing the right of signatories as enshrined in UN charter. More so Indian actions have practically killed. The Shimla Agreement. Violating the agreement India has occupied Siachin, is violating cease fire on LOC, killing thousands of innocent Pakistanis and Kashmiris.
Every time talks commence a stage managed terror incident occur and promptly the blame is lumped on Pakistan. May it be the Indian Parliament, Smjhota express, Bombay carnage and now the latest other day Gurdaspur incidence? All this should be evident to Pakistan leadership, India at the moment is intoxicated with new found economic strength, enhanced military prowess, strategic identity of interests with USA and coming in to power of BJP under Moodi with open declaration of RSS agenda. Under these circumstances track two will linger for years and years benefitting India purporting they are talking. There is going to be no progress. In case of India Pakistan bilateralism has failed, and any progress can only be made under the aegis of Third Power, May be USA and Russia who has influence over India and peace in the region is utmost requirement regionally and globally. Pakistan should first stand on its own feet, improve governance, merit be introduced in every sphere, Election reforms be brought to strengthen the democracy, Senate and women seats be on direct election, revisit 18th amendment which has disfigured the basic structure of the constitution which was a consensus document. Bhutto was an intelligent leader, had he desired at the time of framing the constitution, he would have given these subjects to provinces at the outset. Most of the Governance problems are occurring to day in the provinces due to this amendment, a product of compromise between to parties to benefit each other.
Military prowess is the only guarantee for the successful foreign policy and economic growth. A weak state can not seek a dialogue from the position of weakness. Keeping sovereign claims, Pakistan should wait for the time when in a position to have a meaningful talk improve. While Pakistan should stand for peace and normalization, define preconditions , talks can only be held when India agree to, first, talk on Kashmir , abandon terrorism in Pakistan, and have a meaningful dialogue on water issue. Other issue should follow. Failing which Pakistan is being used by India for media photo app only.
—The writer, retired Brigadier, is decorated veteran of wars and a defence analyst.
Pak-India Track-II Diplomacy? | Tariq Khalil