The admission of Pakistan that the 26/11 attack was carried out by Pakistan based elements is a significant turning point in the geopolitics of the Indian subcontinent. The Indian government can heave a sigh of relief as it can now tell the people that it has succeeded in nabbing the culprits. The Government of India should ensure that the real culprits are brought to justice.
From Pakistan’s perspective, this is a big loss of propaganda war against India. It is not clear if there is going to be a public backlash there. Pakistan is in a very tricky position. On the one hand, it has to show the public that the Pakistan army is defending the eastern border with India. On the other hand, several suicide attacks are taking place across the country.The Pakistan and NATO forces are also engaged in a fierce war against the Taliban in the NWF Province. In fact, it is reported that scores of civilians are migrating from the Swat region(a.k.a Pakistan’s Switzerland) because of the terror unleashed by Taliban. Taliban is getting stronger by the day and it is a worrisome trend for the world.Overall, the Pakistan civilian government is weak and has no full control over what is happening across the country.
India’s immediate task should be to strengthen the hands of the Pakistan civilian government. As a first step, India should wholeheartedly welcome Pakistan’s acceptance of blame and assure cooperation in the investigation to take it to the logical end. The next step should be to immediately stop the rhetoric of tough action. The objective of this rhetoric has been achieved and now i t is time to silently work behind the scenes. India should also continue its diplomatic efforts to get the terror infrastructure dismantled in Pakistan. The government should take all the parties on board and try to explain this strategy.
It is very important for leaders like Narendra Modi to show restraint and stop making vicious comments about the 26/11 attacks. This is critical because India should not be seen as aggravating Pakistan’s apparent humiliation. At this point, by showing more responsibility, India can gain the goodwill of the world community. This will also help Pakistan focus more attention on its western border and worry less about public opinion against India.
India should also take the initiative in restoring bilateral ties. As a positive gesture, Pakistan players should be invited to continue play in IPL and Pakistan artists allowed to perform in India. Other goodwill measures should be restored to reduce Indo-Pakistan tensions.
Cynics will argue that Pakistan is not going to mend it ways when it comes to promoting terror against India. After all, the very existence of Pakistan rests upon its hatred of India. While this argument is very valid, this is the time for India to support Pakistan and the international community in fighting the war against Taliban. India simply cannot afford to watch further weakening of the Pakistan civilian government and allow Pakistan fall into the hands of Taliban. At the moment, India should focus on addressing the weaknesses in the internal security apparatus and strengthen the intelligence gathering mechanisms.
As much as India hates the prospect of supporting Pakistan, India needs to support the current Pakistan government. If we don’t do it now, India will soon be fighting Taliban right across our border. A bad neighbor is better than a worse neighbor.
So India, please help Pakistan.
Image Credit: ElektraCute
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