5:58 am - Wednesday August 12, 2020

Imran Khan : Why Cannot He Change The Indo Pak Relations : What India Should Do ?

Imran Khan : Why Cannot He Change The Indo Pak Relations : What India Should Do ?

Rajiv Upadhyay    RKU


Imran Khan, in his first speech to the nation after the electoral victory, said that if India takes one step Pakistan will take two steps to solve  the Indo Pak problems. He also favoured increased trade with India .

He was not the first Pakistan’s  civilian government head to realise the crucial importance of better ties with India and futility of military confrontation . Zardari had mistakenly declared that Pakistan will not be the first to use nuclear bomb in war . Pak deep state , rogue army and ISI staged the Mumbai attack just to teach Zardari a lesson . Subsequently his government eliminated the permissible import list and made a negative list which was a better provision . The PPP cabinet passed the proposal to give India the MFN status which India had given more than fifteen years back . But the army did not allow its implementation and Zardari ,wisend after the Mumbai episode quietly withdrew the offer .

Nawaz byoed by the clear majority ,over ruled the army and attended the swearing ceremony of PM Modi and soon after the Dharnas began in Pakistan lead by Imran and Quadri . Modi attended the wedding of Nawaz grand daughter in Lahore and it was followed by Ambala attack just as Vajpayee’s Lahore bus yatra was followed by the Kargil war . Later Nawaz could not implement the UFA accord  dropping Kashmir out of agenda . It was followed by Uri attack . Any bold or un conventional move by Imran will not be supported by its all powerful army or ISI .

Pakistan army derives legitimacy of its unusual privileges by Kashmir and other threats from India . It may  not be averse to trade with India but it will treat trade too as a war that Pakistan must win . It ignores huge trade imbalance with China but wants balanced trade with India . It ignores plight of Muslims in China but is all red on Kashmir . It is the existential problem with Pakistan . If trade cannot be balanced it want to trade territory instead. India will not yield an inch on Kashmir or Siachen or Sir creek for some nominal trade benefits . Pakistan’s Army cannot allow legalising the StatusQuo . Even in 1975 , having lost the Bangladesh war, Bhutto did not agree to recognise LOC as international border . Now that Pakistan has nuclear bomb and  MAD vis a vis India, it will not agree to legalise the status quo on LOC .

Pakistan and the muslim world in general do not abhor terrorism as long as it does not hurt them . They are not wrong . Internationally muslims are enjoying far more privileges say over hindus out of fear in western countries . Making namaz room in airports is one such example .There are many more . There are no go zone for police  in muslim areas of major western cities . Germany did not take any massive punitive action inspite of its night of horror by Syrian refugees . Muslims enjoy that status and have genuine regard for international terrorists . So it will be impractical to assume that ISI or Pakistani army will control radicals ultra islamists under Imran . India will not get any benefit of reduced infiltration under Imran .

It only leaves trade and passage to Afghanistan as the two possible tangible benefits  of better Indo Pak relations . After 2019 elections when we have stable governments in India , Pakistan and Afghanistan we  can hope for a better period in Indo Pak relations . but the driver of this change will be America , World Bank and IMF which can make it a pre condition to giving aid package to Pakistan . Only a sinking economy can make Pakistan army realise that it will destroy Pakistan by not accepting this reasonable demand of Global institutions which will also benefit Pakistan . US lobby has commercial interest in TAPI pipe line . Therefore  USA as well as Cina will pressurise India to make some reciprocal concessions on territory say in Siachen . It is not in India’s interest as trade with Pakistan of say a few billion dollars insignificant to India . After Chabhar port the land route is no more vital . But it will hurt Iran so will be favoured by America . Another concession that India cannot give is to surrender its rights on Indus water .

Vacation of Siachen Glacier will give only a psychological benefit to  Pakistan . It ultimately favour China which will ultimately occupy it some day . But Pakistan’s army will get a face saving at great cost to India . So really no benefit will accrue to India by talks with Pakistan as it has nothing to give to India except some unimportant passage to Afghanistan . Trade is mutually beneficial so cannot be counted as benefit to either side.

Under the circumstances India should just bid for time till Pakistan’s economy becomes even worse and its army and ISI accept its realistic unimportance in global matters .

Only a substantially  increased poverty will bring Pakistan’s  army to senses .

The only fly in the ointment is China . Under CPEC its army can reach middle east or Wagah border unhindered . We could be fighting a war with China from Lahore to Tawang . It can keep Pakistan in what Ajit jokes described as liquid oxygen . It will not let Pakistan die but make it survive only as a Chinese colony .

USA is aware of this dangerous possibility but unable to do anything . Seeing the north Korean drama , we can be sure  that USA will pressurise us to make some unilateral concessions to Pakistan as a responsible state !

PM Modi should continue playing this peace game better . If invited he should go to Pakistan for Imran Khan coronation ( like Kejriwal ). If ISI goons repeat Ambala it will expose its real intent . Otherwise if no Ambala or Mumbai is staged , we will get the peace dividend  to keep USA off our back .

There is a small possibility that General Bajwa , like General Kayani realise that India is not a real threat to Pakistan and may not put a spanner in better trade and passage to Afghanistan . India should offer an  economic package via IMF and World Bank but no territory or Indus exchange .should be negotiated keeping in mind the growing unimportance of Pakistan in global arena .

If invited PM Modi should visit Pakistan on Imran’s coronation !


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One Response to “Imran Khan : Why Cannot He Change The Indo Pak Relations : What India Should Do ?”

  1. August 2, 2018 at 4:27 pm #

    I agree. No Pak PM can change the situation.

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