New Delhi, July 14: In the midst of all the debates about the talks between Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif, Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan respectively, there are certain key points one must take a note of. Will only talking help? The answer is no.
Talks could help to a certain extent, but the issue of Kashmir will be a difficult one to solve. It is a fact that Pakistan army officers who are ready to serve in Pakistan occupied Kashmir are paid double the salary their counterparts get.
Former officer with the Research and Analysis Wing, Amar Bhushan says only talks will not help. In this interview with OneIndia, Bhushan says that while there is a need to continue with cosmetic diplomacy, India should put all its resources in defending Kashmir.
Are Indo-Pak talks even needed?
The first point that I would like to make here is that talks will not help. There is a need to continue with cosmetic diplomacy. I am not against the Prime Ministers meeting, but the point is that nothing substantive will ever be achieved.
What is the reason for such cynicism sir?
History has shown that talks have not achieved anything. In Pakistan it is the army which calls the shots. If I may add along with the army it is the fundamentalists too who call the shots. Expecting these people to change is a futile exercise.
What is the road ahead for India?
India should focus on defending Kashmir. What I can see is the situation only getting worse in Kashmir. The mujahideens and the ISIS will come in large numbers to Kashmir.
What India needs to keep doing is fight them on the border and in the meantime also carry on with these cosmetic overtures. One must remember that Kashmir is the biggest handle for the Pakistanis. I would like to say here that there is a huge vested interest within the Pakistan army where Kashmir is concerned. They will do anything to keep the Kashmir issue alive because their soldiers and officers are paid double the salary to operate in the PoK.
Other than Kashmir what else can India do to bring Pakistan on track?
There is a need to improve trade relations. This would help to a certain extent. Need to keep Pakistan engaged economically. We could also try and isolate them in the SAARC.
These are things that need to be done. There is no point in expecting them to hand over a Lakhvi, Saeed or even attempt resolving the Kashmir issue.
Coming to the Lakhvi issue. What are your thoughts on it?
There is no way that Pakistan will give up Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. Pakistan will quote their judges who pass judgments in courts. Are we able to provide them the evidence that they have been asking for? Even if we do, will they accept it.
You know it better that in cases of terrorism there is never water tight evidence. Take the confession of David Headley who has spoken so much about Lakhvi's role in the 26/11 attack. What difference did it make to Paksitan? Instead they showed US the thumb.
Looks like a hopeless situation sir. Do you agree?
Not really. I feel it is time to change the approach. Instead of indulging in diplomacy where Saeed or Lakhvi are concerned, it is time that India undertakes a clandestine operation against these people. India would need to build up that capability on one hand while on the other the politicians can keep shouting.