Foreign Policy Watch: Cross-Border Terrorism

Bet on peaceop-ed snap


After Pathankot, Pakistan has taken the right first steps. India has nothing to gain from not talking.

  1. New Delhi must beware the trap of linking future diplomatic engagement with the fate of the Pathankot investigation in Pakistan.
  2. This would, for one, give forces in Pakistan’s military establishment who are hostile to normalisation a perverse incentive to derail action against their jihadist clients.
  3. Secondly, military retaliation against terrorism will impose asymmetric impacts on India’s growing economy.
  4. Finally, disengagement shuts the door on long-term gains.
  5. Even if India realises no security gains from dialogue with Pakistan, there are none to be had from not talking, either.
  6. Dialogue, though, opens up possibilities for incremental gains on business, resource management and cultural contacts.
  7. It thus strengthens those sections of Pakistani society with interests in peace, like the business community and civil society.
  8. India’s interests are best served by cold-blooded defence of its strategic interests — not the seductive heat of righteous rage.

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