Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Should India talk with Pakistan?

The decision by the Indian Government to proceed with the Foreign Secretary level talk with Pakistan has not been widely welcomed in India. Many in India believe that such 'talks' are useless exercise as the terror attacks on India directed by Pak based terror networks are continuing, with the Pune blast as the most recent example. So let me try to answer in the Indian point of view the question 'Should India talk with Pakistan?

In recent years the number of terror attacks that take place in Pakistan far out number that which take place in India. The men behind these attacks are the same, representing the fundamentalist Islamist ideology. The Pakistan army is trying hard to recapture the territory lost to the Taliban. An ideological war is going on between the moderates and the extremists. Under International and Indian pressure Pakistan is prosecuting some of the accused in the 26/11 terror attack.

The terrorists in Pakistan are trying their level best to ignite hate against India, because then only they will receive good support from Pakistani public. So for the Islamist terrorist an India which will not talk with Pakistan, which will not allow Pak players to participate in IPL, which will humiliate Pakistani Government and people again and again is the India they want to see. Only if India behaves like that they will get more money and support from both the public and the Government of Pakistan. Only then they can defy ban orders and organise more and more big anti-India public meetings. Only then they can propagate their anti-women, anti-modern Islamist fundamentalism among Pak public.

An India which will talk with Pakistan, which will deal with it as a an errand younger brother, which will increase the cultural and person to person contact with Pakistan, which will assure the Pakistani public that it do not have any intention to destroy Pakistan is an India which is a nightmare for the terrorists.

Does India gain anything by not talking to Pakistan? Nothing I can think off. Will India suffer more by talking to Pakistan? Will there be more terror attacks? No is my answer.

So in my view we should talk with Pakistan at all levels.


This does not mean we should surrender our principled positions. This does not mean we should give lot of concessions to Pakistan. This does not mean we should give away Kashmir to Pakistan. This does not mean we should withdraw Armed forces from the border. This does not mean we should lower our vigil against terrorist attacks.

The non-Islamised civil society of Pakistan is India’s first line of defense against terror attacks. . We should support and strengthen it.

23 comments:

  1. I agree. We need to react with a cool head and in a fit of anger.
    "The non-Islamised civil society of Pakistan is India’s first line of defense against terror attacks. We should support and strengthen it."

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  2. Wars begin where talks fail. Talks begin when war ends.

    I have friends in Pakistan.
    Your post, no matter the seriousness of the subject, made me smile.


    Sharing.

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  3. I agree with you...If we don't talk with them, things will get worse...

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  4. I agree completely. We cannot just sit uptight and think that since we are bigger and stronger, talking to Pakistan is a sign of weakness. It is actually the only way.

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  5. IHM,
    Yes,we should react intelligently and should not play into the terrorists inside and outside the country.

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  6. +, When you zoom out and see the Universe as a whole all these disputes look very small.

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  7. Bones, good to see you think similarly.

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  8. Rakesh, welcome here. Yes it is the only way that have the potential to bring some peace not only in India but also in Pakistan.

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  9. Talks are always welcome but the key issue is whatever these politicians and secretaries decide how is it going to influence the Pak Military guys who're almost a parallel Govt force. They're the ones who push on the radical elements to take on India from behind. So there is a big question mark on the outcome of these discussions.

    Whatever, it can yield some political and social confidence in both sides, so get around the round table.

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  10. The terrorists in Pakistan are trying their level best to ignite hate against India, because then only they will receive good support from Pakistani public.

    The above depends on how much the Pakistani public has a say in any of the matters...in my opinion it is near to nil.. since right now even the civil government does not have a clue on what is happening since it is still the army which is calling the shots. The only advantage that India has right now is that the Army is being engaged by US to fight it's war in Afganisthan..

    We can continue to act like the big brother while Pakistan continues it's game..

    I do not think India should continue the talks since so far Pakistan has given nothing in return except flaunt..

    Do take a look at the following reports..
    http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=Clueless+on+Pakistan&artid=GOQe1g2PjMk=&SectionID=d16Fdk4iJhE=&MainSectionID=d16Fdk4iJhE=&SEO=Jamaat+ud+Dawa+chief+Hafiz+Saeed,Kashmir+Solidarit&SectionName=aVlZZy44Xq0bJKAA84nwcg==
    http://www.hindustantimes.com/To-talk-now-is-wrong/H1-Article1-509982.aspx

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. "The non-Islamised civil society of Pakistan"

    There is no such thing, it simply does not exist.

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  13. Scorpiogenius,
    Pakistan has several power centers with conflicting vested intrests and will never talk in a single voice.My feeling is a climate of constant dialogue on all issues will strengthen those ppl in Pakistan who wants peace and good relations with India. Do we loose anything by talking?

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  14. Happy Kitten,Thank you for the links. We are all frustrated with Pakistan Govt and angry with their jehadists and I can understand your viewpoint. As Seema Mustafa pointed out in the article you linked I also feel that Manmohan Singh's foreign policy toed the US line too much. Thus we lost our voice in International arena. The concept of good Taliban (meaning Islamists who will not attack Western targets but will target the democratic institutions, Arts, cultural diverity and women of the region ) is detrimental to the region. US aiming to get out of Afghanistan with least number of body bags is ready to compromise with the so called good taliban. In the recently held London conference where it was decided to buy the 'good 'taliban with money India kept mum while China protested. We need an independent foreign policy. We should talk with all Countries involved without any western mediation . We should have consultations on islamist terror with Russia and China as they also face the same threat. We should try to strengthen our bonds with peace and democracy loving people of the region . I feel the civil society can exert pressure on the Govt , Army and the jehadists which in turn can bring some changes favouring peace.

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  15. Sagarone. Welcome here. My inference from my readings of Pak writers and news websites is there are still a large section of population there who are against islamic fundamentalism. The tragedy of Pak is relative lack of middle class. There the society is divided into madrassa learned rural poor and the western educated urban rich.

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  16. Sagarone. Welcome here. My inference from my readings of Pak writers and news websites is there are still a large section of population there who are against islamic fundamentalism. The tragedy of Pak is relative lack of middle class. There the society is divided into madrassa learned rural poor and the western educated urban rich.

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  17. I wonder why everyone is so obsessed with talking to Pakistan. No one is addressing the basic question: What should we talk about? After all these decades of getting bled by Pakistan, does the Indian Govt have a sound strategy to deal with this menace? I don't think so. Instead of asking the Indian Govt to talk to Pakistan, we should first ask the bozos in power if they have any idea what to talk about in the first place. Right?

    So spineless has been our response till now that we actually gave up our capability to launch covert strikes against Pakistan in 1997. The trick is to make the Pakistanis realise that they may have to pay a heavy price for the low-cost proxy war they have launched against India. Until and unless that happens, Pakistan will continue with its program of 'bleeding India to death by a thousand cuts'.

    There is no use groveling before the US like Dr. Blue Turban does. We have to learn to look after ourselves. The US has no interest in resolving the Indo-Pak conflict. In fact, the US would very much like the two nations two to keep fighting each other because then they get to sell their weapons to both India and Pakistan at the same time. It's a multi-billion dollar business, and the US is making a killing out of it.

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  18. Krishna Aradhi, welcome here. I completely agree with the last para of your comment. We should learn to look after ourselves and it is in India's and Pakistan's interest that there is no war in the sub continent . Now abt the question of what to talk abt. What ever concerns we have abt jihadists operating insideo Pak should be conveyed. As Pak itself is facing terror strikes our evidences will strengthen the hands of peace loving moderates of Pakistan in the internal battle there.Terrorists are begging for a covert strike from India which will in turn lead on to all out war between the two countries

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  19. Hey, nice stuff here, totally agree with your viewpoint, talks are the only civilized way to attain peace. In any large community the neutral crowd is the majority. Unfortunately for Pak, it is the radical crowd mindset that has gained media space. Slow it may be but any permanent solution, if possible, can be attained only by result oriented talks.

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  20. I think Pakistan has been at this game too long to revert... if it had any sane voices they have already left the country or are in very small numbers..
    India had a good chance to help these moderates if we had stood firm and refused to budge until Pakistan took action against those who master minded the Mumbai blasts.. enough evidence were given but yet even after the current talks, the foreign secretary had nothing better to tell his people on his return, but to accuse India of supplying arms to terrorists etc. He even does not want India to give a sermon on Terror.
    I think it is time India let Pakistan deal with its problems while India tighten its own internal security.

    Is there anything to lose by this stance other than lose favor with US?
    http://www.hindustantimes.com/newdelhi/India-supplies-weapons-to-Pakistani-terrorists-Bashir/512850/H1-Article1-512848.aspx

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  21. Jeevan Krishnakumar welcome here. fully agree with you that result oriented talks can only help and is the only real solution

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  22. Happy Kitten,I can understand your frustration that most of us feel with Pak establishment. Will it would have helped by not talking? What pressure India can bring on Pak by not talking? Dialogue can potentially decrease the public and military support for anti India activities. Though we know who are the brain behind 26/11 the evidence have also to be strong to be convincing in the eyes of the World and in a Court and law setup which is not very just . Just as we are ready to disbelieve anything said by Pak govt Pakistanis disbelieve everything our Govt says. More ppl to ppl interaction and confidence building measures can help in better understanding of each other there by helping to move forward. Better to talk on our own and not under anybody's compulsion. Yes our security has to beefed up always.

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Comments are welcome especially if you do not think like me. But anonymous comments behind masks and those not relevant to the post are not encouraged.