HAQQANI 2

first_imgAsked about it, he says, “Being smaller than India,Asked about it, he says, “Being smaller than India, Pakistan cannot succeed in a conventional military offensive but it hopes to force Indias hand by disrupting life in its cities and creating fear all round. This deep-rooted desire for military competition even by unconventional means is the reason why terrorism endures.”Pakistans current army chief, General Raheel Sharif, has mobilised the military against jihadi groups that attack inside Pakistan and that is a positive thing. But the policy of tolerating and supporting jihadis attacking Afghanistan and India remains unchanged.”Uncontrolled armed militias, which is what the anti-India jihadi groups are, are a danger to any society and Pakistan has to act against all jihadi groups for the sake of its own people, he says and rues that the “temptation to persist with irregular warfare and the alliance between Islamist militants and the Pakistani security apparatus still remains strong”.He suggests that Pakistan needs to “shut down the jihadi groups and India needs to reassure Pakistans establishment that it is not out to gobble up Pakistan and the paranoid support of terrorism is unnecessary”.He alleges that Indias approach to Pakistan has been inconsistent. “It neither sustains dialogue for long enough for it to bear fruit nor does it stay away from talks consistently to convey the message that talks and terrorism cannot go together.”Asked whether Sharif needs to reciprocate gestures like the one made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he went to Lahore and attended the wedding of the formers grand-daughter, Haqqani replies, “Gestures only go so far in ending mistrust and changing entrenched security policies. I think it is time for substantive actions, not just gestures that look great for a few days but have no lasting impact on the relationship.”advertisementHaqqani also terms as a “self-defeating strategy”, the militarys view that irregular warfare with the help of Islamists is a cheap and easy option.On Kashmir issue, he says Pakistan never had a strategy to press its claim and always approached the issue emotionally.”Over the years at regular intervals, India has called for normalisation first while Pakistan has insisted on resolving Kashmir first without offering alternative intermediate solutions. This encapsulates the predicament of India-Pakistan discussions.”He is of the view that normalisation of relations with India is far more important for Pakistan today than it was in the early years of its life as an independent state.”The problem for Pakistan?s ruling elite is that after 69 years of describing Kashmir as Pakistan?s primary national cause it is not easy, especially for an overbearing military, to effectively manage a major shift in national priorities.” PTI ZMN ANSlast_img