States arerational actors and whatever decision they make is based on rational thinking,calculations, and cost-benefit analysis.
The mess that the United States andPakistan are trying to mop up in Afghanistan was well orchestrated back in1970s with the containment of the USSR. The CIA created Taliban in Afghanistan andPakistan became a centre stage of Jihadist forces. PK1 When the Cold Warwas near its end in 1987, Hafiz Saeed, Abdullah Azzam and Zafar Iqbal, with fundingfrom Al-Qaeda, established Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) with the aim of Jihad againstIndia to annex Indian administered Kashmir with Pakistan. Another motivator forLashkar-e-Taiba came when the Taliban founded The Islamic Emirate ofAfghanistan in 1996 Lashkar-e-Taiba wished to disintegrate India throughmilitancy the same way as the Mujahidindid to USSR.
We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!
LeTemployed shoot and scoot tactics in Indian-held Kashmir. PK2 According to the Indiangovernment, LeT was responsible for terrorist attacks on both the Indian parliamentin 2001 and the Mumbai attack in 2008 (26/11) that claimed 166 civilian lives. Underthe immense pressure of the United States, Pervez Musharraf bannedLashkar-e-Taiba, but it remerged withthe new name Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD). The US Department of State proscribed JuDby declaring it a “foreign terrorist organization” and ordered tofreeze any of its assets under US jurisdiction. The United Nations SecurityCouncil (UNSC), as a part of UNSC Resolution 1267, also imposed sanctions onJamat-ud-Dawa and declared it a terrorist organization because of its allegedlinks with Al-Qaeda.Despite the ban onJuD, this organization enjoys popular support amongst Pakistanis because of itstwo-pronged strategy:1.
Policyon KashmirPK3 2. Humanitariancharity workJuD’s main face isHafiz Saeed, who carries a $10 million bounty and was under house arrest inPakistan from January to December of last year. TheLahore High Court released him denouncing as a threat to public safetyPK4 . Such hardcoreterrorists terrify witnesses as well as the judiciary. However, courts releasethem simply because of the lack of evidence. Maulana Sufi Muhammad, chief of theTehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) that enforced Sharia law in the Malakand Division and waged war against the stateof Pakistan, was arrested in July 2009 on the charges of terrorism, sedition,conspiracy against the state and attacking governmental installations but wasreleased on January 15,2018 by the Peshawar High Court because of the lackof evidence.
Hafiz Saeed statedthat “I fight the case of Kashmiris. I will gather the people from across thecountry for the cause of Kashmir and we will tryto help Kashmiris get their destination offreedom.”The point is that if Hafiz Saeed is to fight for the cause of Kashmir thengovernment of Pakistan, which is a legal international entity and a member ofUnited Nations, should cease its efforts in Kashmir. Such militantorganizations stigmatize Pakistan’s image in the international community andgive an impression that Pakistan sponsors this militancy.PK5 Pakistan’sformer president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, who waged war againstterrorist groups such as LeT, drastically changed his views about Hafiz Saeedand his militant organization Lashkar-e-Taiba, JuD and Falahi Insaniat. In aninterview to a private TV channel of Pakistan, he stoutly expressed that he supports Hafiz Saeed and his struggle in Kashmir. Musharraf’s support for JuD seems shrewdand based on political calculations as his party is going to contest for an electionin 2018, thus he wants to amass support from politico-religious groups in PakistanPakistan’srelations with India have experienced serious blowback in recent months on theissue of Kulbhushan Yadav, an Indian national who was arrested in Baluchistanover charges of terrorism and spying for India and sentenced to death bymilitary court in Pakistan.
India took the matter to the International Court ofJustice to prevent Yadav’s death sentence. India’s standpoint was that Pakistanmay not execute Yadav until the matter is sub judice in the court. Otherwise,it would be an open violationof Vienna Convention and Pakistan may face immense international diplomaticsanctions. Pakistan permitted Yadav’s family to visit him in Islamabad on humanitarian ground,but it did not significantly improve bilateral relations.
Another factorthat troubles India-Pakistan ties is the issue of Afghanistan. Pakistan’sconcerns about Indian presence in Afghanistan are seriously grave as it doesnot want any anti-Pakistani government in Afghanistan. Therefore, the policy ofstrategic depth shifted fromdoctrine to strategy in Afghanistan. India worries that a Taliban-likeregime in Kabul may reinforce Lashkar-e-Taiba and other Kashmir based militantgroups against India.Indian Army ChiefGeneral Bipin Rawat’s recent statement has mounted tension further as he stated”The Indian army was ready to call for Pakistan’s ‘nuclearbluff’ and cross the border to carry out any operation of asked by thegovernment”. Whereas Pakistan’s foreign minister Khawaja Asif, in an interviewon Geo TV, madea statement that “Islamabad is willing to use nuclear weapons to ensure itssurvival.” Any skirmish may have the chance of escalation because diplomaticsolutions are at the backburner. Pakistan’s relations with the United Statesare already shaky because of US President Donald Trump’s tough stance towardsPakistan over the issue of militant groups based in Pakistan.
Islamabad basedstrategists perceive it as Indo-USnexus to undermine Pakistan’s regional and global interests.Pakistan’scounterterrorism policy of National Action Plan (NAP) is quite comprehensive to curb militant outfits andtheir activities in Pakistan, but if the government fails to take stringentmeasure against JuD, it would undermine Pakistan’s counterterrorism efforts. Asa consequence, the United States may strike deep inside Pakistan by drone totarget UN-designated terrorists but may risk Pakistan-US strategic ties to an irreparablepoint.
Pakistan’s Air force chief already declared that they would shoot down any drone in theirairspace. Onthe other hand, policy makers in Islamabad should realize that withoutnormalization of relations with India, Pakistan may not emerge at the worldstage as a vibrant economy because a costly arms race with India may not allowto concentrate on other priorities of national interest including the economy,political stability and infrastructure. Pakistan’s image at international level may drasticallyimprove if the government, despite all internal opposition, decides tocrackdown on militant groups indiscriminately before they grow too strong tohandle. PK6