20 September, 2020

Candle Burning At Three Ends

An open letter to the new PM on the region's three crisis points

Illustration by Sorit
Candle Burning At Three Ends
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Dear Prime Minister: As you hunker down to grappling with important policy decisions, please do remember that the Indian geostrategic environment has mutated since 2004, raising fresh challenges and calling for innovative responses. Take Pakistan, where the triad of the military, the right wing (flowing into radical Salafi Islam) and the political middle is unstable, with open subversion by the Pakistani Taliban. Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri wanted the Caliphate to centre on Cairo; today, the battle is for a nuclear Pakistan. You will be expected to re-engage with Pakistan, from which only bare minimum cooperation has emerged on the 26/11 investigation. The US is urging talks; other countries are sure to chime in.

Sir, you should therefore fix clear benchmarks for Pakistani action on counter-terrorism; any slippage should halt the dialogue. There shouldn’t be attempts at big-ticket solutions—any points conceded are points wasted till stability returns to Pakistan. If Islamabad can’t get a deal implemented in its own tribal...

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