INDIA always blamed Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism in India but could never arrest any serving Pakistani officer. Attributing non-State actors to Pakistani establishment is far cry. Despite India’s allegation machine working round the clock it always happens that Indian serving spies are caught in Pakistan. From Kulbhushan Yadav to Sarbajeet Singh, Pakistan has always captured their serving spies. International community needs to take notice of that because unless India denounce meddling into Pakistan, there are no prospects of any meaningful peace talks between the two countries.
There is new problem Pakistan has been facing on its eastern border which is Hindu extremists ruling India. They are threatening Pakistan every now and then and persecuting minorities especially Muslims while brutal force is being used to suppress Kashmiri nation in occupied part of Kashmir. Unprovoked firing along the line of control is a norm since Modi took over as Prime Minister. Indian media is being run by fanatics who are poisoning their people with venom and hatred towards Pakistan. Whole social fabric of the country is being changed to Hindutva.
The world faces serious challenge of Indian nuclear weapons being in the hands of Hindu extremists inside the nuclear command and control system. It poses a serious threat to Pakistan’s national security as well as regional stability. While the west is concerned about Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons, India’s strategic nuclear weapons are not in appropriate hands now a day. Any misadventure by some extremist elements within Indian official mechanism can create catastrophe in the region which will have global implications.
The route of bilateralism proved non-productive between India and Pakistan therefore it should be once again International community to play a role to bring the two to peace talks. We already have a framework of UN resolutions on Kashmir and World Bank on water disputes. The major issues is Kashmir which needs to be addressed first. Whether India likes or dislikes it, the solution lies in UN resolutions. Now India is a stronger nation so dictating its terms but that is not a permanent feature. When Afghan issue will be resolved and CPEC will be completed, Pakistan will be in far better and stronger position than India and perhaps will be able to exert its position too. India is on the declining path due to rampant extremism. Pakistan has its own problems but overall things are on the positive trajectory. Pakistan needs to avoid any military confrontation with India while keeping the sanctity of red lines. International community especially U.S. should play her role in establishing peace between the two arch rivals by resolving the outstanding issue.
Coming back to Kulbhushan Yadav, Corps Commanders have categorically made it crystal clear that there will be no compromise on him. After such a clear message the tone of Indian rhetoric has seen a retreat. They must know that Pakistan cannot afford to compromise on a terrorist who has confessed involvement in numerous terror activities. It may give wrong message to Pakistan’s own population that the State has double standards. It hangs its own citizens involved in terrorism while it spares Indian terrorists despite confessions. Therefore, Indians have to say good bye to their ‘son’ and should find courage to face the music as when you send terrorists in another country, you will never be showered with flowers.
If someone fears that India may retaliate aggressively if Pakistan hangs her terrorist officer, that fear needs to be settled down as it is nature of our eastern neighbour that it will first try to bully you, but if you stand firm, it will come up with plan B and that will be some bargaining or appeasing efforts. Indians have already kidnapped Col Habib (Retd) from Nepal after luring him through an IT company for a lucrative job. Perhaps, He was smarter than his captors that he posted his boarding card and other information to his family well in time.
The Indians are apparently unable to present him in front of media to counter Kulbhushan Yadav. They might come up with some other negative stunt. However, the reality is that world’s largest democracy is caught red-handed in perpetrating State terrorism in Pakistan. It will be hard for her to come out cleaner and keep beating the drums of Pakistani involvement in India. Now is time for Pakistan.
—The writer is research assistant at Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, a think-tank based in Islamabad.