Why Pakistan Must Learn India's New Way

24/08/2015 1:31 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Pakistan flag in map

It's more than clear that India will no longer accept Pakistani leaders' engagement with separatist Hurriyat leaders either directly or indirectly. The line was drawn when proposed foreign secretary level talks in Islamabad were cancelled in August last year. The Indian side had sent a strong message to Pakistan that it was serious in trying to resolve outstanding issue bilaterally but would not take it lightly if Pakistan tried to mollycoddle the Hurriyat Conference.

The Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit was warned not to meet the Hurriyat before the proposed meeting in Islamabad and also that Pakistan must choose between participating in the high-level meeting and conferring with Hurriyat leaders. When Basit chose the latter, the Indian side cancelled the talks, stunning those who might have construed it as a mere threat.

It's worth noting that when Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in India to participate in Narendra Modi's oath taking ceremony on May 26 2014, he made no attempt to engage with Hurriyat leaders, even socially.

"The world should be aware and worry if any Indian government decides to implement the Parliamentary resolution of 1994 that talks of Pak-occupied Kashmir being an integral part of India."

Last August should have served as a warning to any Pakistani leadership that this new Indian dispensation, the first government in 30 years to have received a decisive mandate, had drawn the diplomatic line and that needed to be respected for any meaningful engagement between the two countries. Not allowing the Hurriyat any respectability should also be seen in the context of a duly elected government being in power in Jammu and Kashmir of which the BJP is also a part.

Pakistan failed to appreciate this determination of the government. First, they created controversy by letting it be known that they intended to meet Hurriyat leaders before NSA talks and then by trying to change the agenda of the NSA talks finalised at UFA. The new NDA government was going ahead with talks despite opposition from many sections of society but it could not have crossed the line drawn last August.

The votaries of engaging Pakistan in talks are flustered since the Pakistani side has been completely exposed. They are not interested in normalising relations with India or in ushering in the economic prosperity that could be an outcome of better ties between the neighbouring nations. They are merely interested in Kashmir and its internal dynamics knowing well that the youths sent to launch jihad in the name of Kashmir will cause some destruction but eventually get killed by Indian security forces.

Those who say the two neighbours should talk should realise that you cannot talk to a neighbour who has decided to go on a suicide mission. The world should be aware and worry if any Indian government decides to implement the Parliamentary resolution of 1994 that talks of Pak-occupied Kashmir being an integral part of India. The 1994 resolution that was passed unanimously, said:

"(a) The State of Jammu & Kashmir has been, is and shall be an integral part of India and any attempts to separate it from the rest of the country will be resisted by all necessary means; (b) India has the will and capacity to firmly counter all designs against its unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity; and demands that - (c) Pakistan must vacate the areas of the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, which they have occupied through aggression; and resolves that -(d) all attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of India will be met resolutely."

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