Sunday, 27 March 2011

India to open talks with Pak army, ISI chief

Finally the Indian Government has accepted the fact 26/11 is dead and we need to move on. How correct this thinking is anybody's guess. Once you let these evil men off the hook they will start planning another attack. Unless you keep them under pressure continuously, you are inviting trouble. We must never forget that Kayani and Pasha are of the generation that sees 1971 as the worst time of their history and are bent upon avenging themselves on India. These talks will not be peace talk but an opportunity for them to bargain and gage our will to fight, which under this congress regime is waning fast.
I will not be surprised if Congress gives autonomy to Kashmir and in few years independence without Pakistan giving up POK. In all our talk it is India centric nobody mentions POK. Pakistan is not ready to accept most part of POK as Kashmir. They have integrated most of it in their own territory. On the other hand India has kept Kashmir isolated thus giving an opportunity to Pakistan and separatist to raise the pitch. In my humble opinion these talks will give us nothing but more trouble, unless we are ready to pressurize Pakistan militarily. Unless Pakistani army chief is brought to the table with a gun on his head, he will see these negotiations as India's admission of defeat.
Under Kayani, Pak seems to be moving well on it’s gameplan with respect to India and Afghanistan. To understand why a weak and unstable Afghan govt is in Pak’s best interests, one just needs to know that it is because Pak can then keep the level of terrorist activity in both countries regulated through control over Islamist fundamentalists in Pak as well as the (weak) Afghan government. To understand why the US is in a bind, one simply needs to understand that Pak’s geographical location makes it imperative for the US(or anyone else) to keep Pak appeased and economically rewarded for any operations in an unstable Afghanistan.
General Kayani thus become a power behind the throne in Afghanistan too? The WikiLeaks Part 2 disclosures, even more damaging than the first, may serve as a spoilsport, but just for a while! Till the US realises it’s folly of having created a hydra-headed monster that may soon eat up it’s master, there’s no respite, especially for India, which shall continue to bear the brunt of Pak’s `home-grown terror’. In that scenario, Kayani, determined to control both Kabul & Kashmir through his three pronged policy-“keep Pashtun nationalism down, India out and Hamid Karzai weak,” might just succeed. Let’s hope he doesn’t, and the next attack on US convoys goads President Obama into action. Otherwise we Indian will have hell to pay in the period of “The Kayani Saga”!

India has asked its envoy in Pakistan to open channels of communication with Pakistani army chief General Pervez Kayani as well as ISI chief Shuja Pasha, which, if he agrees, could open up new possibilities of deepening Indo-Pak engagement.

"We have given the green signal," said government sources. As a new season of Indo-Pak engagement bursts upon the sub-continent, there is a realization that India's efforts to talk is incomplete because there is no communication with the Pakistani army — effectively the real power centre. The diplomatic outreach to General Kayani is under the rubric of engaging all stakeholders so as not to attract extra attention, but it's a special effort by India. However, Kayani is yet to respond to Indian overtures.

Pakistani PM Yousuf Raza Gilani may accept Manmohan Singh's invitation to attend the World Cup cricket semi-final match in Mohali next week. While the event is not expected to significantly alter bilateral ties, it may clear the air. Certainly, on the Indian side, the initiative is entirely the prime minister's. Singh has completely invested in the idea that he should somehow resolve the Indo-Pak problem, despite the number of hiccups that have marred previous efforts.

India remains hesitant about including the Pakistani army chief in the official dialogue because of a perceived difference in the relative importance between the army leadership in Pakistan and India. In India, the military brass is subordinated to the civilian leadership. In Pakistan, despite the facade of the civilian government, everybody is very clear about where the real power lies.

In 2009, ISI chief, General Shuja Pasha attended an iftar dinner by Indian envoy to Pakistan Sharat Sabharwal, which was seen to herald some kind of a thaw. Earlier, too, India had asked to engage the Pakistani army chief, but to little avail. The Pakistani army chief leads the strategic dialogue process with the US, which includes both civilian and military components in the talks. But India remains wedded to the civilian establishment, and has historically only engaged the Pakistani army chief after he has taken over power in a coup.

Kayani is a different kettle of fish. Having declared to be "India centric", the chain-smoking quiet Pakistani army chief has generally been seen to be the most hostile army leader.