India and Pakistan – Bilateral Talks and Relations

September 21, 2018

Pakistan – Terrorism and Violence

Padmini Arhant

It is time for Pakistan to realize that terror and violence only lead to failures with nothing to gain instead tremendous loss of trust and respect from those Pakistan expects cordial relations. India as neighbor is routinely subject to Pakistan fostered terrorism and violent episodes targeting either Indian security force on the Line of Control and on the International border or civilians in Indian metropolis that are not even recognized as criminal activities by those behind these actions in Pakistan.

In less than a week since the murder and mutilation of Indian Border Security Force personnel Narendra Singh on the international border in the Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir, there has been abductions of four police officers among whom three Special Operatives police have been ambushed and killed with their bodies desecrated like the earlier BSF member in the abhorrent crime that appears to be the desperate strategy for terrorists and sources instigating such incidents.

The bizarre reference to these terrorists as Jihadis i.e. freedom fighters




India and Pakistan – Bilateral Talks and Relations

Padmini Arhant

The latest developments between two nuclear states – India and Pakistan as usual comprise a twist and a treat from the latter posing the strange predicament on bilateral relations.

First and foremost, the killing of Indian Border Security Force Head Constable Narendra Singh on September 15, 2018 i.e. the past weekend with his body mutilated and dismembered prior to disposal on the border of Indian State Jammu & Kashmir is a heinous crime worthy of condemnation. The gruesome act against an Indian security personnel with no formal denunciation of the murder from either Pakistan’s army or ISI and the newly appointed government is deeply regrettable.

Secondly, neither the Indian ruling government nor opposition has called for murder investigation with Pakistan’s government though Pakistan not surprisingly has denied any involvement. Unfortunately, loss of lives among security force or innocent civilians bear no significance among political class who regard any potential or imaginary threat to own lives seriously and pursue anyone including political targets such as genuine human rights activists and civil rights advocates in society sentencing them to prison or hold them in house arrest on suo motu.

As such political administrations appointed judiciary are maneuvered exempting members in politics and influential persons from law.  Those in politics convicted on homicide with criminal record compete in elections in violation of People’s Representation Act and upon assuming political position are granted immunity. Accordingly, they are acquitted by the Supreme Court from crimes such as causing fellow citizen’s death in the state. In other words, ordinary lives never matter compared to those in politics and their close affiliates – both practically get away with murder and criminal offense demonstrating abuse of power.

Pakistan on the other hand playing dual role in the lack of sincere commitment to purge terror and cross border killings as well as attacks against Indian security force or within the sovereign territory of Indian state anywhere and simultaneous overture on pilgrimage access arouse legitimate doubts on duplicity. Pakistan army and ISI along with civilian government are yet to convince not only Indian mass but also those affected by terrorism from Pakistan based terror factions and Taliban in Afghanistan on their responsibility to expunge terror and militancy from their soil.

Unless there is concerted effort from Pakistan army and ISI together with the civilian government under their purview to disavow ties with terror networks and criminal elements having sought refuge finding Pakistan a safe terror haven, the shadow of suspicion and mistrust would linger hindering any positive steps towards constructive discourse.

The religious tourism initiated by Pakistan Army General Qamar Javed Bajwa in response to long standing 1947 Indian Protocol and subsequent reminders from Indian governments until now on Kartarpur Sahib corridor, the Sikh Guru Baba Guru Nanak and Sikh religion’s holy pilgrim center located in Pakistan side about three kilometers across the border from North Indian state of Punjab is a welcoming gesture barring any hidden agenda that obviously cross many watchful minds in the backdrop of purported insurgency and anti-Indian movements threatening unity and territorial integrity of India.

Religion is best delineated from politics and strategic disputes in appreciation of every citizen of any nationality, faith or secular identity to observe and practice religious freedom or otherwise as their fundamental right.

Pakistan’s desire to permit Sikh pilgrims from India and elsewhere for economic reasons linked to travel industry is evidently a necessity to meet with dire economy and foreign currency deficit. Nonetheless, the religious sentiments on this issue for the followers of Sikhism and others merit respect and recognition especially in the upcoming 550th Birth Anniversary of Sikh Guru – Baba Guru Nanak in November 2019. The government on either side as well as defense authorities implementing a safe and secure passage for pilgrims and travelers to Kartarpur Sahib corridor is imperative to guarantee success of the anticipated event.

As for Kashmir situation, Pakistan authorities directing focus in improving lives and addressing security and various economic as well as social problems in their domain would establish a stable democracy expected among Pakistan’s electorate. There are far too many crises within Pakistan that demands immediate and undivided attention prior to intervention in foreign affairs.

Pakistan’s anguish over Muslim plight in Kashmir appears selective considering Muslim population experience beginning with Pakistan and world over. The incessant war in the Middle East using terror networks against Syrian people, Iraq and Libya are enabled with Muslim so-called Jihadi recruits against other denominations in Muslim Ummah.

Similarly, the brutal air raids and decimation of north African Muslim nation Yemen beckons instant halt on violence through permanent ceasefire on all sides, Saudi Arabia in particular. The subjugation of Uighur Muslim minority has prevented the far-northwestern region of Xinjiang in China from global view. Then there are hundreds of ethnic Hui Muslims staging a sit-in protest in China’s western region of Ningxia against government plans to demolish a huge new mosque, amid restricting Islam to pull its practice in line with the Chinese mainstream.

In many Muslim nations, the authoritarian governance and crackdown with zero tolerance to public dissent cannot be ignored like in Saudi Arabia as well as United States and Britain backed Bahrain’s Al Khalifa regime. The non-existent Muslim women rights in Parliament representation is visibly forgotten in Iran’s Majlis and the same applicable in many Islamic countries on human rights violations. The Chechens of Chechen Republic of Greater Caucasus, as part of the Russian Federation have been engaged in war for independence and Moscow pursuit on terrorism in Chechnya is ongoing.

The unresolved Palestinian rights to Statehood with Israeli authorities defiant illegal settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory apparently not UN Chief priority irrespective of seven decades occupation. 

Rohingya Muslims ordeal in Myanmar is a persistent struggle.

Muslim suffering anywhere emanates from oil rich Islamic nations in collusion with imperial powers extensively engaged in arms deal, subscribing to military base to retain dynasty rule and hardline authoritarianism and terror sponsoring leave the citizens oppressed in these countries in most regions viz. Middle East, Africa and Asia not excluding Indian sub-continent represented in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

In light of global circumstances and post 9/11 due to Saudi terror operatives, the west associate Islam to terrorism and radicalism not without complicity from oil barons of Islamic Middle East.

Last but not the least, the deteriorating economic and social conditions in Pakistan Controlled or Occupied Azad Kashmir, the internal conflict in Balochistan, the disenchanted citizens in Sindh and the troubled tribal areas of south Waziristan, Swat Valley with Taliban infiltration under ISI protection are far more debilitating for Pakistan than Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir.

In the Indian State Jammu & Kashmir represented by Muslim majority in Srinagar and adjacent areas with remaining part of the state like Jammu and Ladakh are domicile to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhists and other ethnic groups that are equally significant in terms of their nativity, origin and contribution to the State economy. 

Kashmiris not excluding the political separatist viz. Hurriyat Conference recent shut down in Srinagar on the Central BJP government’s prompted motion in the Indian Supreme Court to eliminate Article 35 A, one of the clauses in Article 370 of the Indian Constitution Act that categorically connects Kashmir to Indian Union proved Kashmir political factions and seditionists will to remain part of the Indian Union Territory to benefit from unconditional benefits and privileges granted to J&K.

Kashmiris major dilemma is cross border terrorism and relentless assaults as recently witnessed in BSF personnel Narendra Singh killing forcing the political authorities’ decision on troop deployment along the border. Once terror activities desist with Pakistan army and ISI reining in on these violent outfits, the troop reduction or withdrawal in J&K could be an imminent proposal.

At the same time, the Indian Central government regardless of political party and coalition is required to scrap the colonial era Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) that was enacted and enforced in the disturbed areas, the powers have been grossly misused facilitating crimes in uniform against civilians not only in J&K but also in northeastern states of India.

The economic woes in Kashmir mostly lie on the State political authorities and the Central government policies in semblance with the rest of the states in the Indian Union. Hence, they are not isolated from the burgeoning economic and social ailments suffered by citizens nationwide. Needless to say, alleviating economic misery, social inequality and prejudice is the prime responsibility of the government and economic sector in the state and national level. The failures in this monumental task would be reflected in public rejection of them through ballots in the state and general election.

On the bilateral talks between two nuclear neighbors, Pakistan’s swift action in containing violence and terror exemplified in strategy would set the course for mutual understanding, trust and acknowledgment to participate in trade and other activities like cultural, religious and social exchange. The trust factor is indeed the impediment in building reliable relations and maintaining contact across the spectrum that could be overcome with Pakistan’s renewed pledge towards credible investment in peace that would in return be rewarded in progress and prosperity forl both Pakistan and India as well as the entire Indian Sub-Continent.

Peace to all!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Author & Presenter

















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