Instability in Pakistan impacting relations with India : The Tribune India

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Instability in Pakistan impacting relations with India

Instability in Pakistan impacting relations with India

Lt Gen Kamal Davar (Retd)

Born from the same womb of Mother India, Pakistan, since the advent of India's independence in 1947, consistently following an anti-India stance in all its politico-strategic formulations brooks no elaboration. Ironically, despite sharing a common heritage and being compatriots in the freedom struggle against British yoke and beset with problems of abject poverty, illiteracy and social inequalities, India and Pakistan have only shared a tumultuous relationship. To most objective strategic analysts and a fair number of people on both sides of the once drawn Radcliffe Line, Pakistan's policies towards India are nothing but myopic and self-destructive in nature. Perhaps, to them being blindly anti-India in every facet of external and neighbourly relations is the raison-de-tre for their existence. The negativity of the 'two-nation' theory continues to drive their mindsets towards India.

Most of Pakistan's internal problems and its resultant instability can be attributed to the unbridled powers and undying greed of the 'deep state' in Pakistan. Pakistan's 'deep state' is the unholy trinity of the Pakistan Army, its intelligence agencies and the many terror outfits its army trains, funds and tasks. Importantly, the 'deep state' has also worsened Pakistan's relations with its larger and more powerful neighbour, India. Realising that it cannot halt India's march towards the latter's economic progress and rise as a regional and global power, Pakistan has been creating terrorist related problems for India in J&K as also other forms of cross-border provocations. Indian responses to Pakistani terror mischief and even during the four wars both nations have fought with each other, have inflicted heavy costs on Pakistan.

Fast-forwarding to the current times, Pakistan is, unquestionably, in the throes of growing internal instability and gargantuan economic problems. To be seen now is whether Pakistan is imploding or will it be business as usual with the Pak Army under its new Army Chief, Asim Munir, cracking the whip? It is well-known that the once Pak Army favourite, former PM Imran Khan, is now up in arms against his original mentors - the Pak Army - and the explosive political situation in Pakistan heralded by the failed assassination bid on him has created politically a more toxic situation inside Pakistan. Imran and his party, the Tehrik-e-Insaaf - Pakistan, are clamouring for fresh elections whilst the current Shehbaz Sharif government and the Pak Army naturally would like to avoid the immensely popular Imran Khan getting back Pakistan's reins of power!

The fracas and the widely debated public discussions over who would be the next Army Chief have just been over with a reportedly religiously oriented hardliner, Gen Asim Munir, being appointed as the chief. Gen Munir, as the ISI chief, was removed by then Pak PM Imran Khan. It will be thus prudent for Imran Khan to take additional measures for his own safety now. It is a common saying in Pakistan that prime ministers are generally removed from office either by military coups or assassinations! Anyway, Pakistan is now firmly in the grip of acute political chaos and it is thus imperative for India to carefully monitor Pakistan's aberrant nature.

Just two days back there was further bad news for Pakistan with the dreaded Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan suo moto quashing their June 2022 Afghan Taliban sponsored cease-fire agreement with Pakistan. Gradually, the Baluch and Afghan nationalists as also the ordinary people in Pakistan Occupied J&K and Gilgit-Baltistan regions are hardening their stance against the Pak establishment, making the overall internal security situation in Pakistan precarious.

Pakistan will be well advised to read the writing on the global wall. India's international stature and economy is rapidly growing whilst Pakistan's is diminishing notwithstanding China's devious support to Pakistan both militarily and financially. Pakistan's salvation lies in it returning to its roots, establishing sound economic and trade ties with India and, importantly, forsaking terrorism as an instrument of state policy. It will also be in India's interest to persuade Pakistan, by sincere dialogue and genuine diplomacy, failing which, by punitive military action compel Pakistan to discard its traditional hostility towards India and live as peaceful neighbours.

The writer is a former chief of Defence Intelligence Agency


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