Last three months had been very dramatic and full of confusion as long as approach of Indian government to its foreign policy in general and its thrust on Pakistan policy in particular is concerned. The dramatic turn of events in Indo Pakistan relations started to happen when Prime Minister of india Narendra Modi landed in Lahore on 25th December 2015 to attend a wedding ceremony in Nawaj Sharif family and the same date was happened to be the Birth date of Pakistan Premier Nawaj Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised most of the people to visit the Pakistan Premier to greet him personally for his birth day.
Indian Prime Minister who is known to be the master of event management did first mistake on that day when he relied more on personal rapport and chemistry of personal relations and tried to take the complexity of strategic and foreign policy issues in comfort zone with help of personal relations between two state heads. Most of the people were taken by surprise with surprise diplomacy of Narendra Modi because this visit was loaded with multiple political, diplomatic and strategic messages as the date of 25 December was also the birth date of former Prime Minister of India and BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpaee who successfully completed his five years tenure in Government in 1999to 2004 to become first Non Congress Prime Minister to complete his term. With his visit to Lahore Narendra Modi tried to revive the memory of Vajpaee among Indian people who too visited Lahore as prime Minister in his tenure in 1998-99 and the same Nawaj Sharif was the prime Minister of Pakistan during that visit.
Narendra Modi hoped to manage to redraw his image among Indian masses and diplomatic circles across the world as a statesman who is able to take the risks for the sake of peace in the sub continent.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was engaging with his Pakistan counterpart several times prior to his visit Lahore also put most of his political stake in his Lahore visit and when he returned back to home it was thought that maybe his wishful thinking of thinking against unthinkable comes true and Pakistan does something which happened to be more unique and unprecedented to undo its past notorious record of deceit and backstabbing but the same reciprocity did not came from Pakistan side and it repeated its old record and when Indian people were still celebrating and enjoying the new year with their new resolutions for new year in 2016 the whole nation heard the news of a terrorist attack on Indian air base in Pathankoat.
The terrorist attack on Indian Air base in Pathankoat was the reminiscent of the wishful thinking of Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpaee who visited the Lahore to see Nawaj Sharif and few months later Pakistan army entered into Kargil with its adventurism. But this time Nawaj Sharif even did not took months but he responded so quickly in less than a week.
Immediately after the attack the writer of these lines Tried to read into minds of Pakistan strategy and concluded that in new circumstances Pakistan will change its tactics not strategy and in its new strategy it will try to confuse and frustrate Indian establishment to show them and Narendra Modi as naïve and immature on strategic and security front.
The words of this writer proves right again when Indian Prime Minister did not deter from terror attack and its political implications for his party and his credentials and decided to allow the Pakistan to investigate the Pathankoat terror attack along with Indian investigation team and joint investigation team of Pakistan was allowed to visit the Air base to collect the evidences and it should be confronted with the evidences which Indian investigation teams has derived.
The Joint Investigation Team from pakistan travelled to Pathankoat and this visit was welcomed with Protest in Pathankoat but Government seems unmoved with these developments and the surprise diplomacy of Prime Minister Modi superseded every other observation.
The apprehension and skeptical views for Pakistan JIT probe outcome was always there but during the stay of JIT team in India several news items surfaced in Indian media which highlighted that Pakistan JIT team has been confronted with Proof which suggest the role of Pakistan based terror group Jaish E Mohammad in Pathankoat attack but immediately after the JIT team reached to Pakistan the Pakistan media flooded with stories that India did not provide any evidence to prove Pakistan hand in Pathankoat attack and this development has not only hampered the credibility of Prime Minister Modi but arouse some serious questions about his repeated failure of Pakistan policy and time has come to analyze the shortcomings and lacuna in his Pakistan policy. There are few reasons which fail his Pakistan policy.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi is relying heavily on his National security Adviser Ajit Doval for his Pakistan policy as he has been branded as the master spy the Indian establishment ever had and it has been said time and again that he worked inside the Pakistan for several years as spy and so it is believed that he reads the Pakistan mind very well more than anyone else and he is the best counterbalance for Pakistan. But he not was able to deliver something miraculous on Pakistan front which can be considered different from his other predecessors who worked as NSA in Indian Government. He has not been successful so far because even having all the good intentions and strategic thinking he needs to understand the difference between the working style of a spy and diplomat. The Spy needs to be master in hiding his identity and work in non disclosed and non transparent manner but diplomat needs to be transparent and have the skill to convert confrontation into consensus.
On several occasions Prime Minister Modi himself and his NSA took some decisions on Pakistan without taking anyone into confidence as talking to NSA Pakistan in Bankok or visiting to Lahore. Even oo7 James Bond or Hollywood movies star of Impossible Mission Force cannot prove to be a good diplomat even they are the best spy no doubt.
- Prime Minister Modi and his NSA needs to understand the basic principle of USA foreign policy which is not based on any moralistic principle or past European principle of mission based approach it is totally based on realpolitik approach of its geo political interests and it work to achieve its goal with principle of balance of power . From West Asia to South Asia they have to balance the Iraq and Iran with Israel and Pakistan to India and vice versa.
Since the days of 9\11 happened every Indian government has outsourced its fight against terror to west in general and USA in particular and we more often raise the question of principle and morality before west and USA that they are not doing enough to support us in our fight against terror and sometimes our governments complaints to various international fora that we are not getting adequate support from these nations in our fight against terrorism. This is the most comfort zone we have easily adopted because in principle demands can be raised to define the “Terrorism” in its uniform definition but in practical everyone knows that everyone has its own definition of terrorism. We should adopt our own method and definition of terrorism and evolve a political consensus to follow the policy to counter the terrorism.
- The most Indian leadership landed himself in trouble in Pakistan policy for one simple reason most of the leaders, academicians and strategic analysts either have born prior to Pre Independence India or stuck with Pre independence or partition syndrome and look to the Pakistan with mixed emotions of either estranged brother who need our help or an Islamic state which is there to create trouble for Hindu Majority India. Both of the perceptions need to be reviewed in new century.
More often our leadership goes wrong on Pakistan front because we don’t consider Pakistan as nation state born out of colonial era and its geo political needs as every other nation state born and needs to be treated in the same way. Once our blurred views for Pakistan in either way gets clear and we start delinking it with our psyche the same day our approach will change and Pakistan will lose its leverage in India and its boastful claim of protecting the interest of Indian Muslims become useless or its wishful thinking of Indian Muslim looking to her as its savior and protector falls apart.
But to make it happen Indian policy makers and strategists need to define the National priorities and national identity in consonance to new century where our civilizational continuity and heritage should not get hampered but diversity and differences become the strength nor the weakness because with old rhetoric and narratives when we try to build the consensus in the world community against Pakistan sponsored terrorism inside our country we could never succeed to achieve it if in slightest ever our imagination we will take this whole issue of terrorism as Islam vs rest .
We need to understand the difference between theological debate on Islam and its academic aspect and the problem of terrorism which is related with it which more political rather religious .
The various organizations and movements inside our country don’t understand that civilization is a continuous process of evolution which has wider implications and narratives or rhetoric for civilization cannot be used for statecraft and diplomacy. The moment we could understand this difference we would isolate the Pakistan in world community.