Friday, January 29, 2010

Pak India peace, strategically impossible by Dr Subhash Kapila

jan 29th, 2010

as l'affaire IPL showed, the average indian businessman recognizes this as well. 

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From: Sanjeev


By Dr. Subhash Kapila

Introductory Observations

India is hardly a year removed from the horrendous Pakistan-based and Pakistan Army-facilitated commando style attacks of Mumbai 26/11 which were similar to the Pakistani attacks on the Parliament House in December 2001. India on both occasions under different political dispensations failed to hold Pakistan to account.

India's political leadership, policy establishment and its liberalist glitterati of different hues, in a total disconnect with Indian public's pronounced opinions went ahead earlier and now advocating once again the resumption of India-Pakistan Composite Peace Dialogue. There are some who have advocated Sub-Composite Peace Dialogue – whatever it means. 

Once again, in January 2010, advocacy of resumption of the Composite Peace Dialogue seems to have become the flavor of the season in India. On analysis of the trend, it emerges that there is a concerted and calibrated subtle campaign to prepare Indian public opinion for what the Indian Prime Minister might succumb to due to his his personal inclinations and external pressures for resumption of the Composite Peace Dialogue.  

Such an Indian official decision would be in total disconnect with the well-grounded Indian public opinion's suspicions on Pakistan establishment's sincerity for peace. With the Pakistan establishment not having displayed the minimum modicum for making amends on Mumbai 9/11, India's official decision for resumption of Composite Peace Dialogue would therefore be contextually insensitive to Indian public opinion and rubbing in salt into the wounds of India's public psyche brought about by Mumbai 26/11.Further, India would not be paying respect to strategic realities which militate against it. 

India's politicians need not be reminded of the public contempt which was directed at them, and which was visibly and vocally visible on Indian TV channels following Mumbai 26/11. 

Pakistan's policy postures, Pakistan Army's compulsive anti-India attitudinal fixations and its continued proxy war do not display any changes for the better justifying a change in Indian public opinion. Pakistan's adversarial postures and conflictual propensities have sharpened since Mumbai 9/11.

The danger of another Mumbai 9/11 being inflicted by Pakistani elements allied to the Pakistan Army like Al Qaeda and the Lashkar-e Toiba has been pointed out officially by the United States during the visit of US Defense Secretary to New Delhi this week. Obviously the United States has credible intelligence on this count and this public statement indicates that Pakistan Army has not taken any steps to pre-empt such an eventuality.

It is strange therefore that international seminars in New Delhi and Indian prominent political scientists and strategic analysts should be advocating resumption of peace talks with Pakistan which continues to be as intransigent and threatening to India as before.  

Peace with Pakistan is desirable and a common aspiration of the people of both India and Pakistan. The emphasis is on "the people of Pakistan". The Pakistan Army which even today controls Pakistan does not share that sentiment of the Pakistani people.  

 Sixty three years of India's persistent efforts to engage Pakistan to ensure Pakistan. -India peace have failed time and again, defeated by Pakistan Army's imperial strategic pretensions.  

Pakistan-India peace cannot be achieved by delusionary political and idealistic mindsets of India's political establishment and "Pakistan apologists" within India. 

Pakistan- India peace is impossible through the political route of political negotiations, mediation and conflict resolution processes. The Pakistan Army is both blind and deaf to such processes.  

Pakistan-India peace is strategically impossible till India recognizes the "strategic realities" that hover over and impede any achievement of realistic and lasting peace with Pakistan.  

India needs to recognize that any peace process is not a one-way street. It takes two to make peace and with mutual trust between the two as the predominant force. Regrettably, Pakistan- India mutual trust is nowhere on the horizon.  

Relevant to these two propositions this Paper examines the following aspects:

  • Pakistan's Strategic Mindsets: Major Impediment
  • Pakistan's Ideological Frontier Fixations: A Major Obstacle
  • Pakistan – India Peace Unachievable Till Pakistan Army Subjugated to Civilian Control
  • Pakistan – India Peace Realization: The China Factor in Pakistan Polices as an Impediment

 Pakistan's Strategic Mindsets: Major Impediment 

Pakistan's strategic mindsets more modulated and crafted by Pakistan Army's anti- India strategic fixations seriously impede the processes towards Pakistan- India peace whether internally stimulated in both countries or externally generated.  

Some of the major strategic myths that dominate Pakistan Army thinking and distorts its realistic view of the South Asian strategic landscape can be enumerated as follows: (1) Pakistan Army especially now with nuclear weapons arsenal is the "strategic equal" of India (2) The Pakistan Army provides muscle to Pakistan's foreign policy in relation to "strategic bargaining" with United States and China, playing "balance of power" politics. (3) Pakistan so equipped is in a position to herd South Asia's smaller nations into similar confrontations with India.  

Consequently, the Pakistan Army which determines Pakistan's foreign policy perceives India not through political prisms but through strategic perspectives. This is more true in relation to Pakistan policy perspectives on India and Afghanistan. 

The over-riding passion of the Pakistan Army is therefore the strategic diminution of India and the strategic erosion of India's strategic asymmetry with the rest of South Asia and Pakistan in particular. Galling for the Pakistan Army is that its nuclear weapons arsenal also could not reduce Pakistan's military asymmetry with India.  

Till such time Pakistan continues to view its differences with its neighbors in military terms rather than political perspectives it would be naive for India's 'Pakistan apologists' to strive for Pakistan – India peace. 

Pakistan's Ideological Frontier Fixations: A Major Obstacle

Only yesterday, the Pakistan Prime Minister was quoted by the Pakistani media that the Government of Pakistan and the Pakistan Army are committed to protect Pakistan's "ideological frontiers". 

Has anybody in Pakistan realistically delineated Pakistan's ideological frontiers and especially, even if there was some political ideology like it, what was its relevance to Pakistan's continued existence and Pakistan's place in the 21st century?

Pakistan' s constant references to Pakistan's ideological frontiers can therefore be read as Pakistan's continued fixation with Jinnah's 'Two Nation Theory' and the exploitation of the fair name of Islam for political control of Pakistan and further using it as a policy tool in Pakistan Army's use of proxy was and terrorism against India.  

So what is India faced with? India has to contend with the strategic myths of the Pakistan Army with the "religious additive" to reinforce its anti-India strategies.  

Are there any "reconcilables" in this framework which India's 'Pakistan apologists' can read and which the average Indian is unable to discern?  

Pakistan – India Peace Unachievable Till Pakistan Army Subjugated to Civilian Control 

The foregoing discussion suggests amply that Pakistan – India peace is unachievable till such time Pakistan Army is subjugated to civilian control of Pakistan's political leaders. This is a very distant possibility. 

Even in the latest US-generated political experiment of civilian democratic government in Pakistan, the Pakistan Army still reigns supreme in terms of Pakistan's foreign policy towards Afghanistan and India.  

President Zardari's well meaning utterances of reconciliation towards India and that India was not a threat to Pakistan were immediately shot down by the Pakistan Army.  

President Zardari's offer to send ISI Chief to India for assistance in Mumbai 9/11 attacks investigation was overruled by Pakistan Army Chief.  

Pakistan Army's stranglehold on Pakistan's governance, foreign policy and security policies is complete. Peace with India is not on Pakistan Army's agenda.  

So however well-meaning Pakistani peace activists may be, they too should be aware that no peace process would be allowed to proceed further by the Pakistan Army. 

 Pakistanis should therefore first strive to save Pakistan from the Pakistan Army before they can aspire for peace with India. The Pakistani people have displayed in 2007 and 2009 that they can mobilize themselves in massive numbers to transform Pakistan's governance. They can mobilize to bring Pakistan Army under firm civil control to ensure peace with their neighbors.

Indian well-wishers of Pakistan aspiring for peace with Pakistan would be well-advised to pend their efforts till such time the Pakistani people bring the Pakistan Army under firm civilian political control. 

Pakistan – India Peace Realization: The China Factor in Pakistan Polices as an Impediment 

Strategically, even if Pakistan Army is brought under firm civilian control, possibilities exist that China is unlikely to relinquish its strategic hold over Pakistan in its strategic calculus.  

China would continue to be an impediment and a complication factor in Pakistan's approaches towards peace with India for many years to come. 

If Pakistan is forced to choose between China and peace with India, Pakistan would always side with China.  

China's strategic imperatives would never dictate that Pakistan – India peace should materialize. This is a strategic reality that India needs to factor in its peace formulations with Pakistan at all levels – official, political and academic.  

Concluding Observations 

Sixty three years of India's sincere engagements with Pakistan to achieve peace between the two counties stand frustrated by the Pakistan Army as a major impediment in any peace process materialization. India has tried all routes in the last sixty three years to move ahead through political dialogue, Track II diplomacy and back-door high-level interlocutors. No headway till date has been achieved in any of these multiple initiatives. 

India's "talking-shops" which champion peace with Pakistan are not being strategically realistic when they advocate peace divorced from contextual strategic realities that dominate Pakistan's decision-making space. 

On date, no indicators exist to suggest that the Pakistan Army has ceded space to Pakistan polity or Pakistani public opinion to embark on a viable peace process with India.  

This strategic reality needs to be recognized at all levels in India advocating resumption of Composite Peace Dialogue with Pakistan. India's peace approaches to Pakistan need to be modulated by India's strategic imperatives and not political or idealistic delusions or succumbing to one-way Indian appeasement polices.  

(The author is an International Relations and Strategic Affairs analyst.  He is the Consultant, Strategic Affairs with South Asia Analysis Group.  Email:

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Shankara said...

This is the reality. There cannot be any peace with Pakistan also on the following counts.

1) Their education system spews venom on Hindus and India. When children are inculcated on such feelings how can there be any love or genuine respect which are important for peace.

2) In Europe Greece and Turkey are locked in animosity similar to ours. Only its not played up so much by the western media. Again the two countries cannot reconcile also because of faith differences. Turkey wants to be a model muslim nations for other muslim nations and would not want to be seen as selling out to the west.

Lasting peace has only happened in Europe because of similarity in faith and culture. The last time two christian nations fought was during the Falkland wars.

The only way India and Pakistan can achieve peace is as correctly mentioned in the post above is by the Pakistani army loosing its powers. This seems only possible by 2 ways.

1) India and Pakistan go to war for one final time (India should have this strategic mind set, one war to end all wars) India uses overwhelming power short of going nuclear and then dismantles the Pakistani army and reorganizes it similar to what US has done to the Iraqi army.

We give the Pakistani army too much credit. They are not as strong as they seem to be as a cohesive force. Pakistanis are tribal by nature and still have a medieval mind set to fighting and thus strive for individual glory. They are also not a thorough professional force except the officers corps which again is basically tribal at the core. All this and more make them tribal army with heavy modern weaponry but lacking strategic and tactical capacity.

2) The other option is that US and other NATO nations lose patience and invade Pakistan the real possessor of WMD and do same as mentioned in point 1.

karyakarta92 said...

".....continued fixation with Jinnah's 'Two Nation Theory' and the exploitation of the fair name of Islam for political control of Pakistan and ...."

Fair name of Islam??? What is the author alluding to?
Some mythical Djinn from the Arabian nights?
There is some truth to what he states regarding the Paki army etc, but the Army is comprised of people well rooted in the civilian society. Hostility and a pathological hatred for all things Hindu and Indian are deeply ingrained in all sections of Pakistani society. The sooner Indian strategic thinkers understand this fundamental point, the better for us.

Harish said...

Pakistan is not just a physical territory with an army, it is the product of a mindset/ideology.

Militarily defeating Pakistani army can be done but what will the Indian army do with the 150 million momeen civilians?
Plus unlike Hindu morons most Pakis (especially Pashtuns) & Muslims in general always keep arms and flout retarded gun control legislation. Even if Paki Army is defeated there will be insurgents all over Pak to fight a guerilla war against the Indian Army as long as they want. They have all the equipment they need from Kalashnikov's to RPG's & anti tank mines.

By contrast how many Hindus bear arms?

Remember Mumbai, not a single civilian was armed so the Jihadis had a field day.

What a disgrace for people whose deities are always armed. Until British gun control most Hindu men carried muskets, swords etc to defend themselves.

Today if the Indian army is defeated the invader will have a cakewalk over the masses of unarmed morons watching Bollywood & Cricket.

By contrast if you invade Muslim countries like Iraq & Afghanistan you can expect a long guerilla resistance because the population is well armed.

The Pashtuns can run a 20 year insurgency campaign against the Indian Army quite easily just as they are doing against the US & India will take 10 times as many casualties as the US which has the most advanced military in the world.

Snuffing out Pakistan is not just a matter of military defeat but that of an ideological defeat, in this case the ideology happens to be Islam. After all Pakistan has suffered a humiliating military defeat in 1971 against India yet in the long run they are winning the war because of demographic changes which are paving the way for a Mughalistan (already demanded by Indian Muslim Samar Abbas).

Sameer said...

"Today if the Indian army is defeated the invader will have a cakewalk over the masses of unarmed morons watching Bollywood & Cricket."
Lol..Bollywood and Cricket...Nice one Harish... :)