|By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)
Former Director General of Information Systems, Indian Army
Much speculation is in the air that Indo-Pak talks are round the corner and that foreign pressure will make Pakistan slowly come around. Nothing could be farther from the truth despite Pakistan’s sweet pill of granting wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet him. The recent meeting between Pakistani Rangers and the BSF at New Delhi too is hardly an indication of normalization even as the DG-level talks have resumed after July 2016. Sure the 19-member Pakistani delegation by Muhammad Saeed, DG of Pakistani rangers also included officials from their interior (home) ministry and anti-narcotics force but border protocols mutually arrived at earlier have been flouted by Pakistan immediately thereafter. In the present context too, Pakistan is continuing with cross border ceasefire violations using heavy weapons, targeting villages, killing civilians, periodic infiltration attempts, tunneling, you name it. Despite the radical mullah Masood Azhar openly brags he has been orchestrating terrorist attacks in J&K, Pakistan refuses to take any action against him, and has Chinese backing for the same. Similarly, no action is being taken against the perpetrators of the 26/11 Munmai terrorist attacks, and four accomplices of the mastermind Hafiz Saeed have just been released. To top this, Pakistan is spreading false claims of a foreign agency (implying R&AW) having given a supari of $800,000 to assassinate Hafiz Saeed, and seeking more protection for the terrorist under the excuse. But now Zubair Mahmood Hayat, chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff of Pakistan has directly alleged R&AW of operating a $500 million fund for sabotaging the China-Pak Economic Corridor since 2015.
Akin to China lying to the Chinese public, Pakistan is also building anger in its own public with reports That India has completely blocked flows of water from river Sutlej, Beas and Ravi into Pakistan while another 50,000 cusec water of river Chenab has been cut short; as a result of which zero water discharge has been reported in all 90 canals erupting from the aforementioned rivers. Such news items are to divert attention from the internal chaos in Pakistan, even as Pakistan’s political elite are busy in annihilating their rivals. According to details, India was compelled to allow flow of 50000 cusec water of river Chenab into Pakistan—and the quantity at present is merely 5461 cusec. But India has built several dams on rivers Sutlej, Beas and Ravi, and 4182 cusec of water is being released in Upper Chenab Canal whereas the same needs at least 18000 cusec. Pakistan media has warned of alarming rise in price of agriculture products as farmers are using tube wells to acquire water for their fields. At the same time, Pakistan is upping the ante in J&K brazenly. Pakistan backed Hizbul Mujahideen cadres are reportedly inducting heavy weapons in the Valley.
A chilling video has surfaced of Hizbul Mujahideen leaders harassing and thrashing a political worker in J&K and threatening him to take a vow to not support the mainstream political parties or the security forces in the region in future. At the same time where Pakistan ISI backed Islamic State of Khorasan (ISK) is perpetuating terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, typical Islamic State type killings have commenced in J&K with throat of the victims being slit open. On our part, India recently attacked Pakistan at the United Nations and urged the western neighbour to "provide freedom" to the people of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) by ending the illegal and forceful occupation of the region; at the Universal Periodic Review of Pakistan in UN, India asked Pakistan to take verifiable actions on matters such as terror-funding. India reportedly asked Pakistan to dismantle special terrorist zones and take actions on safe havens that nurture terrorists in its territory. What are the chances of an Indo-Pak dialogue, even if Pakistan makes a temporary halt to its terrorist activities, and what success such dialogue has needs no guesswork. Pakistan has embarked on a path that appears irrevocable.
The prophecy made by Pakistani military veteran Agha H Amin appears getting accelerated from when he said in 2005 and repeated in 2012, “Utopians in India are jubilant that Pakistan has made peace with India. Nothing in reality can be farther from the truth... The real picture of true intentions of the Pakistani military will emerge when the US withdraws from Afghanistan. This will be the time when the Russians, Iranians and Indians will have no choice but to support the Northern Alliance against Pakistan sponsored Taliban who regard all Shias, Ismailis, non-Pashtuns, moderate Pashtuns as infidels who deserve to be massacred... There is no doubt that Pakistan will be a semi autonomous Chinese province by 2030 or so... Pakistani Baluchistan by 2030 would be a completely Chinese run show...”. Of course under the new Af-Pak policy announced by US President Donald Trump, there is no way Pakistan is going to get free run in Afghanistan with US-NATO forces not only staying put but getting boosted. Having bagged Gilgit-Baltistan for 50 years and Gwadar for 49 years, China is assisting Pakistan in crushing Balochistan even as buses plying in London are painted with large ‘Free Balochistan’ slogans. In this backdrop, how do you expect Pakistan to change?