Source: The Hitavada      Date: 20 Nov 2018 11:50:51

VETERAN Congress leader and former Minister of State for External Affairs Mr. Natwar Singh has rightly described Indo-Pak relations as “accident-prone” and the instances of such accidents taking place off and on are innumerable. That is precisely why in the last ten years the two countries have not been able to hold any meaningful dialogue on issues confronting them. Mr. Natwar Singh, a veteran diplomatic hand in Congress circles, says the two countries’ future lies in the past, meaning the baggage of the past happenings has cast a very dark shadow on their relationship, mostly to Pakistan’s detriment. 

While the rest of the world has got bored with the Kashmir issue, as Mr. Natwar Singh suggests, Pakistan, however, remains obsessed with its single-point agenda of annexing Kashmir by hook or crook. For achieving this objective, Pakistan has used all the tricks it could employ in the past 70 years, including three wars. When it realised that it was difficult to defeat India in an open war because of superior quality of warcraft and better strength India possessed, it began to use the nuclear blackmail. When this too did not have any effect on India’s determination to safeguard its territorial integrity, it then took recourse to proxy war.

Repeated assault on Indian establishments, particularly in Kashmir by using hordes of trained and well-equipped terrorists, are being used to destabilise the country and cause disturbances in Kashmir. But thanks to the resoluteness of our Army and the solid support the Government rendering to it, all these Pakistani machinations are being well taken care of. While the entire world community has acknowledged that Pakistan is using terror as an official policy tool to achieve its objectives, Pakistan is shamelessly following this disastrous path. The terror masterminds are officially being well protected for their services to the Pakistani establishment.

Pakistan is undeterred by the stoppage of sumptuous military and financial aid it used to receive from the United States for the past several years. It has found in China a willing ally to replace the US as a benevolent aid donor, oblivious to the consequences of acceptance of Chinese aid which comes with many strings attached. China too is willing to go against the general worldwide opinion over the sponsorship of terrorism by Pakistan. Though belated, the US Administration’s willingness to acknowledge Pakistan as the sanctuary of global terrorism is welcome.

Pakistan is nursing false hope that its arm-twisting activities would in anyway or any time make India part with Kashmir. India has made it known that Kashmir remains an integral part of India and what remains to be resolved is the freeing of the part of Kashmir that is under illegal possession of Pakistan annexed through aggression. Mr. Natwar Singh has said that in the first place India made the mistake of going to the United Nations. The country then made another mistake of referring the matter to the world body as a dispute and not as an act of aggression by Pakistan. The country is enduring the consequences of those mistakes. Thus this and other past mistakes have cast a dark shadow over the relations.

There is no hope of the situation changing for the better any time soon. Whenever efforts have been made, and the initiative has been mostly from the Indian side, to iron differences through dialogue, some elements in Pakistan have ensured that these efforts get derailed. On occasions when talks appeared to be achieving finality of agreement they were sabotaged by some act of terror or military misadventure on Pakistan’s part. Hence Mr. Natwar Singh’s assertion that Indo-Pak relations are prone to accident holds much substance. Indo-Pak relations have been held hostage to Pakistan’s Kashmir obsession.