India-Pakistan peace talks meaningless unless Islamabad stops fueling terrorism, says top US think tank

Washington: The routine call to peace talks between India and Pakistan has no other meaning than if Islamabad changes course and stops terrorism, the first American think tank said. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a group of global experts, said in its report that such a movement supported by countries, including the United States, would not only be wrong but also counterproductive.

It is the report titled “Pakistan’s Pakistan talks honorable Pakistan” written by Ashley J Tellis, who is Tata’s chairman for strategic affairs and is a senior think tank member.

The 100-page report notes that the call by the international community for a continuing dialogue between India and Pakistan does not recognize that security competition between the two neighbors is not really motivated by discrete and negotiable differences but is rooted in ideologies, territories and political antagonisms.

The report indicates that these antagonisms are fueled by the irredentism of Pakistan, its army’s desire to subvert India’s ascendancy as a great power and exact revenge for the past victories of the Indian army.

Peace talks between the two countries are meaningless, unless Pakistan reshapes its content with its jihadist terrorism.

The report indicates that Pakistan’s antagonisms are motivated by its aspirations to be treated equally with India despite their enormous differences in skills, achievements and perspectives, Tellis writes.

The Pakistani army is encouraged by international calls for bilateral engagement, Tellis said, adding that it is because Islamabad believes its strategy of nuclear coercion successfully receives foreign pressure on India to make concessions over territory and other issues so far out of reach.

After several unsuccessful efforts by the Modi government over the past three years, New Delhi has delayed the insistence that there will be no talks with Pakistan unless it supports the terrorist activities in India. “Discussions and terror” can not go together, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj told parliament recently.

The Tellis report attempts to support India’s position and calls on other international powers, including the United States, to extend its support to New Delhi.

“If the United States wants to advance stability in South Asia, it is necessary to undertake a course that, instead of simply urging the talks, puts pressure on Pakistan to realistically accept its circumstances with regard to India,” the report said.

This requires, above all, a determined effort to restrict the “deep state” to Rawalpindi to relax its ties to jihadist terrorism, he said.

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