Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: Ashfaq Parvez Kayani

Peace with Pakistan

On 18/4/2012 Pakistan’s General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani called for resolution of Siachen and other issues. He said the two countries cannot keep spending on defence alone and forget about development. This came after Pakistan’s 127 soldiers and 11 civilians were buried alive by an avalanche on 7/4/2012 and searches are on for them.

Kayani’s statement is welcome but India should not throw caution to the wind. India should not vacate Siachen in a hurry. We know what happened in Kargil. After Kayani’s retirement next General may have different ideas about peace with India. Nawaz Sharif wanted peace with India. Atal Behari Vajpayee took bus to Lahore. A few months later Kargil War happened. Then Pervez Musharraf deposed Nawaz Sharif and sent him to jail.

Pakistan’s relationship with USA has been hostile for some years. Now China is also not happy with Pakistan due to terrorism in Sinkiang. Pakistan does not have many friends. After American helicopters entered Abbottabad, killed Osama Bin Laden and dumped his body into the sea, Pakistanis have questioned their army’s usefulness. After the death of some Pakistani soldiers in an American air raid Pakistan stopped NATO supply routes in Pakistan.

India and Pakistan have made progress in recent years. Asif Ali Zardari’s private visit on 8/4/2012 helped to move things forward. Sometimes USA has played a spoiler in Indo-Pak relations. USA opposed Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline. Days before Zardari’s visit USA announce 10 million dollars bounty on Hafiz Sayeed. Hafiz Sayeed appeared on TV channels and said he was not hiding and if USA gives him 10 million dollars he will tell them of his whereabouts. USA said they knew about his whereabouts, the bounty was for evidence to prosecute him. Strange that USA declares bounty without evidence.

On 15/4/2012 there were attacks on American, British, German and Russian embassies and many other buildings in Afghanistan. Indians were not attacked. The attackers whether Taliban or Haqqani network, operated from Pakistan. They also freed around 380 prisoners in Pakistan.

Will Pakistan agree to vacate Kashmir? It gave some territory to China in 1967. China is in illegal occupation of Indian territory. Gen. J. J. Singh (Retd), Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, said India should give and take to solve border dispute with China. What does he mean? Does he mean India should give up Aksai Chin because it is in Chinese occupation? What will India take from China? China has nothing to give to India. If China claims two parts of India as its own and occupies illegally one part that does not mean India should accept China’s claim in return for China’s recognition of other part that was and is India’s. China claims whole of Arunachal Pradesh and calls it South Tibet. There are some Chinese sympathizers in India who say cartography was not correct when the maps were drawn. India did not have border with China. India had border with Tibet. China annexed Tibet. India should tell China to get out of Tibet. If India accepts Chinese claim on Aksai Chin because China occupies Aksai Chin, India will have to give up its claim on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Trade between India and Pakistan can increase and that can cement peace between two countries. Solving some issues can take a long time.

USA and ISI

For long India said ISI was behind terrorist activities in India. USA was quiet. For some years Afghanistan said ISI was behind terrorist activities in Afghanistan. That included Indian Embassy. USA was quiet. When American Embassy was attacked USA spoke. Americans wanted Pakistan to take action against Haqqani group, veritable arm of ISI, or they will act on their own.

India should have acted on its own. USA has its interests. It will not act in favour of other countries unless it is for its own advantage or there is a lobby in USA that wants USA to act in favour of another country like Jewish lobby’s support for Israel. ISI got away with crimes against Indians and Afghans and became bold enough to attack Americans.

Pakistan’s army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, who was once ISI chief, threatened retaliation if American soldiers entered Pakistan. He said Pakistan is not Iraq or Afghanistan and a nuclear power. It meant Pakistan will drop nuclear bombs on American soldiers. It halted American entry in Pakistan. Drone attacks are different matter.

It is unlikely ISI will stop its operations against Americans. Pakistan wants to control Afghanistan. Many Pakistani’s feel time is on their side, Americans will have to leave Afghanistan and after that Pakistan can dictate terms to Afghanistan. If USA stops assistance they can get it from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has emerged as a force. They have troops in Bahrain and have supported Saleh in Yemen. Saudi Arabia will support Pakistan against USA. China may sell arms to Pakistan but will not give assistance.

Some Pakistani politicians are not happy with ISI sponsoring terrorism but as long as army dominates Pakistan they cannot do much. When army domination ends Pakistan’s government can put an end to ISI activities. That does not seem possible in the near future.

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