Making Peace With Pakistan
How To Make Peace With Pakistan
- Get engaged, stay engaged.
- Keep expectations low, especially short term expectations.
- Expect setbacks. Use setbacks to better understand how the Pakistan Army, the ISI and non state actors try to undermine the Pakistani Prime Minister.
- Engage at multiple levels, not just with the Prime Minister.
- Appreciate their need to posture. They need that drama for their domestic audience.
- Talk to the Prime Minister, but also talk to the Pakistan Army directly. They are not a subservient but a parallel power center.
- Seek a trilateral intelligence sharing arrangement vis-a-vis the United States, especially on terrorism. Pakistan itself is a target.
- Help strengthen democracy inside Pakistan. Ultimately only a fully democratic Pakistan is capable of true and permanent peace with India. Until that day arrives, keep expectations in check. Expect slow progress and setbacks.
- Greater people to people contact would help. More trade will help.
- And if that happens between China and Pakistan, so be it. Think of that as dress rehearsal. Pakistan opening up is good news. It is a closed society. Russia is also a good one.
- Muslim-Hindu per capita income parity is a domestic goal for India. Steps towards that goal would help.
- Peace is possible. Ultimately perhaps even a free trade area.
- Attempts of terrorist attacks will continue. There are plenty of non state actors inside Pakistan, but mostly globally, who would like to hurt India. It is a democracy thing. And there counter-terrorist acts is an area for the military experts. This is not traditional warfare. You have to speak the language they speak. You have to be able to counter their moves. Mostly you win if you are really good at intelligence. Intelligence sharing with governments goes a long way.