Pakistan is not ready for friendship yet: Pakistan is not ready to give up its policy of terror against India

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In February this year, the decision of the armies of India and Pakistan to a ceasefire along the Line of Control and International Border in Jammu and Kashmir has completed one hundred days. During this, there was peace on the border. This has brought great relief to the people living along the Line of Control and the International Border. It is a big change for sure, but one thing has not changed at all and that is the maintenance of terrorist infrastructure by Pakistan. Our Army Chief General Mohan Mukund Naravano recently confirmed this fact. This shows that Pakistan is still not ready to give up its policy of terror against India. He just wants to lay the right chessboard for its use.


Since the ceasefire, some important developments have taken place in Pakistan and they indicate that the differences between the Pakistani military and political class over India policy are increasing. The attitude of both the military and political sections on the issues related to Kashmir is strict. However, some generals and leaders are keen to take a futuristic approach to pragmatic relations with India and restore trade and connectivity, while others stick to their traditional hardline. Although everyone wants to keep terrorism as an option as well, while Pakistan has to pay a huge economic price for it. Despite all its efforts, Pakistan is still notorious as a dangerous place. It remains incapable of attracting foreign investment. This does not include investments from China under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPAC). CPAC also includes the development of the Gwadar port. It has broad strategic implications for India. At the same time, CPAC has more strategic importance than economic for China.


Nearly a month after the ceasefire, Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa, in an important policy speech, said that Pakistan will also have to consider economic aspects for its security. He believed that the scope of national security was to focus on the welfare of the people beyond the traditional security of borders and this would be possible through economic empowerment including trade. He also explained the importance of connectivity. Analysts also saw this as their interest in restoring trade and connectivity with India. It is noteworthy that after making constitutional changes in Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019, Pakistan in a way ended trade relations with India. Soon after Bajwa's speech, there were reports that Pakistan wanted to import sugar and cotton from India. Prime Minister Imran Khan, who handled the commerce department himself, approved the proposal, but he had to oppose it in his cabinet, which was led by some ministers under the leadership of Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Given the political realities of Pakistan, these leaders have the support of some generals, who are enraged by General Bajwa's attitude towards India. He found it a deviation from the traditional policy of Pakistan. Meanwhile, some things leaked in the media. The only mention in them was what Pakistan expects from India regarding Kashmir. Naturally, these views were linked to the attitude of the more moderate generals.


What Pakistan wants at the moment is that the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir be restored. During this Qureshi also showed some flexibility. He said that Article 370 may be an internal matter of India, but Kashmir was a disputed issue. His statement was contrary to Pakistan's stand. There was a strong reaction to this and Qureshi had to retract from his statement. Since then Imran Khan and Qureshi have engaged in tough rhetoric about the so-called human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir. In an interview last week, Imran Khan linked the reversal of the constitutional measures of August 2019 to get the talks back on track, apart from trade and connectivity. He is back to the same stance that Pakistan had taken after August 2019. Bajwa and Imran Khan should do the work of realizing the facts and not imposing conditions. They must destroy the terrorist infrastructure while gaining control over the people bent on adopting the old obstinate attitude with India.

The problem is that the politics of the Pakistan Army is also getting mixed up in Pakistan's India policy. An eminent TV journalist from Pakistan, Hamid Mir, accused the generals of beating up one of his fellow journalists, saying that the attitude of the army towards India is becoming soft. Mir also said that by doing so, the army was going against the wishes of the Pakistani people and also turning away from the policies of its founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Experts believe that Mir's target was General Faiz Hamid, who is the director-general of the intelligence agency ISI. These analysts also feel that Mir has the blessings of some army generals who want to attack Faiz's chances of becoming the next army chief after Bajwa's extended tenure ends next year. Whatever be the case, India will have to keep a close watch on the developments in Pakistan. It should reiterate its stand to the international community that it is in favor of improving relations with Pakistan, but only if Pakistan renounces terrorism. Overall, the ongoing tussle in Pakistan shows that it has not been able to take even a basic decision showing its genuine intention to have better relations with India.

The problem is that the politics of the Pakistan Army is also getting mixed up in Pakistan's India policy. An eminent TV journalist from Pakistan, Hamid Mir, accused the generals of beating up one of his fellow journalists, saying that the attitude of the army towards India is becoming soft. Mir also said that by doing so, the army was going against the wishes of the Pakistani people and also turning away from the policies of its founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Experts believe that Mir's target was General Faiz Hamid, who is the director-general of the intelligence agency ISI. These analysts also feel that Mir has the blessings of some army generals who want to attack Faiz's chances of becoming the next army chief after Bajwa's extended tenure ends next year. Whatever be the case, India will have to keep a close watch on the developments in Pakistan. It should reiterate its stand to the international community that it is in favor of improving relations with Pakistan, but only if Pakistan renounces terrorism. Overall, the ongoing tussle in Pakistan shows that it has not been able to take even a basic decision expressing its genuine intention to have better relations with India, which will be in the interest of not only its people but the region as a whole.