LoC violations: India can't afford to alienate Islamabad

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The Pakistanis continue to violate the ceasefire and Defence Minister A K Antony, who made an unforgettable goof-up last week after five Indian soldiers were butchered near the LoC, said on Monday that the Indian armed forces could respond to the conditions developing at the border in appropriate terms.

Pakistan has violated the ceasefire at the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir five times in 72 hours and all this despite Islamabad's backing a truce with New Delhi. This act of Pakistan has been termed to be the biggest ceasefire violation in the recent times.


Violations at LoC will increase ahead of the polls in India, feel experts

Experts have said that the acts of hostility by Pakistani Army will increase at the border ahead of the general elections in India also with the tenure of its chief General Ashfaq Kayani nearing its end, the intention is more to send strong signals to the civilian government in Islamabad, always considered second-best to other power centres in Pakistan.

Multi power centres in Pak have made it difficult for India

The functioning of multiple power centres in our western neighbour has made our task extremely challenging. We seek to engage with the formal power centre in Pakistan, the state, when an other informal power-centres betray. The formal power centre becomes the natural target of the ire of the Indian establishments and in an ambience of deteriorating trust and increasing suspicion and hostility, it is the disruptive forces that find a reason to cheer. It is a vicious cycle which has come into effect between India and Pakistan and neither side is able to break it.

Talks are the only way forward for India

What can India do? Honestly, it can't do much but pursue more talks with a hope that the civilian rulers of Pakistan are strengthened and they can rein in other ambitious forces in the Pakistani polity. But given the way its civilian rulers have discredited themselves all these years, it is unlikely that things will change for the better anytime in the near future.

Pakistan's structural weakness has been accompanied with India's miscalculations. Both the government and the Opposition in India have failed to rise up to the occasion with a mature stand. While the government has gone messing up things in the aftermath of the killing of the Indian soldiers, the Opposition has raised demand to halt all talks with Pakistan.

The Indian media too has forwarded a similar demand. These easier reactions don't suit with national interests. If the Indian government halts talks now keeping in mind the popular sentiments ahead of the polls, something which the mischief-makers aim for, then it is surely going to hurt the country's interests in the long run. Who will take responsibility if our soldiers continue to get killed in hands of Pakistani terrorists even if talks are called off? Or is it better to keep talking channels open so that New Delhi can take up the issue firmly?

NDA wanted talks with Pakistan in 2004, why not in 2013?

The BJP-led NDA government had backed the cricket diplomacy in 2004, five years after its bus diplomacy was responded with the Kargil betrayal. If it wanted talks to score some political points ahead of the parliamentary elections that year, why does it want to stop the talks before polls this time?

Democracy in South Asia hasn't succeeded in tackling terrorism

Democracy in South Asia hasn't succeeded in tackling terrorism. While a weak democracy like Pakistan has remained a prisoner to powerful forces, a strong democracy like India has not arisen above the inner contradictions. Even if leaders like Zardari and Nawaz Sharif have sought good relations with India, they have not been in the position to dictate terms and have more acted as also-ran leaders.

On India's behalf, it is of little meaning to condemn the weak civilian government in Islamabad for all the evil acts that are being committed at the LoC. Had the government in Islamabad been so effective and powerful, then Pakistan itself wouldn't have seen regular blood-spilling on its soil.

India's only hope lies in engaging with more substantial talks with the Pakistani establishments to strengthen its hands so that the anti-terror platform gets stronger eventually. Individually, neither India nor Pakistan can win this massive struggle.

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