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Pakistani misadventures and denials are factored in to India's policy of engagement: Paarull

Updated: January 10, 2013, 4:50 PM IST
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Pakistani misadventures and denials are factored in to India's policy of engagement: Paarull
What options does India have when Pakistan has denied any role in killing the soldiers?

What options does India have when Pakistan has denied any role in killing the soldiers? CNN-IBN's chief diplomatic correspondent Paarull joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the issue.

Q. Does it matter to India if Pak is denying involvement? Pak has always been in denial mode since independence - Kargil, 26/11 are best examples. Your thoughts. Asked by: EMathew

A. The Indian govt is realistic that ties with Pakistan are complex. Pakistani misadventures and denials are factored in to India's policy of engagement and India's response to provocative acts.

Q. Pakistan is always in state of denial about every aggression. Musharraf denied Pak was involved Kargil at the time, but later glorifed the war. On 26/11 culprits, they brazenly deny Kasab & other Pakistani's involvement. How to deal with such country? Asked by: sanjeev kumar

A. The Indian govt feels there is no alternative to dialogue. They are dealing with Pak by talking to them on India's terms. That's why there is no forward movement on Kashmir or Siachen. The dialogue is meant to strengthen the peace constituency in Pak while managing differences.

Q. A graduated response along with stoppage of CBM's would be essential for telling the Pakistanis that enough is enough. They done seem to show any reciprocation on the peace process as is evident from the various speakers from across the border who are given space on our news channel. They indulge in offensive threatening language and our speakers like Mani Shankar Aiyar bend backwards to please them? Asked by: Arun

A. There are certainly gains from the peace process - Pak's decision to liberalise trade and the visa regime should be seen as progress. Also Pak has played its role in upholding the ceasefire for the most part since 2003.

Q. Has you ever seen any Pakistani commentator taken a line similar to the one taken by the likes of Mr M S Aiyer of insisting that the only option is to continue the peace process come what may. I am sure that in case if the Indians had been involved in such a ghastly act the Pakistani response would be of retaliation and not that of the likes of Mr Aiyer. What is your take on this? Asked by: Annonymous

A. There are people on both sides who advocate continued engagement. I have heard quite a few Pakistani commentators who are critical of their army's use of Jihadi proxies as terror. Also, from some accounts of unnamed Indian officials, it appears Pak's aggression on Tuesday was in retaliation to Indian soldiers crossing over to the other side from the Uri sector on early Sunday morning.

Q. Are we still going soft on Pakistan? Do you think the time has come for some covert actions ? How many dossiers and proofs are going to be submitted? Asked by: prithviraj

A. I don't think we are soft on Pakistan. We are trying to manage differences and strengthening in Pak those who want peace with India by having a dialogue with Islamabad. It appears that, so far, Pak army as an institution remains supportive of this renewed engagement. But there is no harm in India developing its capabilities for the future.

Q. Do we need a change in the foreign policy, especially towards Pak? Also is it time we engaged in other players to make Pak see sense in having peace with India. Asked by: EMathew

A. We do have discussions with with other players on Pakistan. As far as changing foreign policy is concerned, one of the criticism of the govt has been it has not been consistent with its approach to Pakistan! :) ie, that it keeps changing it's Pak policy.

Q. Emotion should not take over reasoning. If Pak army encroached our land then why we were not able to stop this infiltration? Find out the fact in the LeT hand in this? Then take a firm stand if Pak army is involved? Asked by: Prathap

A. Yes, I agree. All facts must be examined by the Indian govt - including the Indian army's actions and reactions on the Line of Control in certain sectors this week before deciding on the next course of action.

Q. Since Pak army has a greater say on policy matters, isn't it true that expecting more people to people contact to change mindset a false hope from India's point of view. Asked by: EMathew

A. The reasoning among those on the Indian side who advocate people to people contact is that it can do no harm to India. Conversely, public opinion in Pakistan can strengthen the political establishment there in questioning the army's policies. In fact, we are seeing the civilian authorities and intelligentsia raise concerns about the army's policy on ties with India and on internal matters.

Q. What is the use of dialogue if for past 60 years it has given no output. Don't you feel we have tried a lot and it times to show a bit of serious anger to them. When the foreign affairs minister was kidnapped back in 80's they let away the terrorist,so her life was important. Isn't our soldiers,who fight for the nation ? why is the value of life vary so much in our country and specially why is it considered soldiers are there to die and no big deal but if a politician or there family die, its a huge deal? Asked by: HS

A. There are several issues. No one can dispute that the Indian state must value the life of every Indian. But there are limits to Indian muscle flexing with Pakistan. A military conflict between two nuclear armed nations is not worth the risk and we have tried cutting off ties - that didn't put an end to Pakistani misadventures either. But there is a view that inflicting some cost on the Pakistani state should be an option.

Q. We need to understand that the situation would be very dangerous for India after the Americans withdraw as planned in 2014 unless we get our act together and stand united notwithstanding political differences. We need to ensure that we are not seen as a soft state otherwise God help us. Asked by: Annonymous

A. You are right. There is concern that the Pakistani army will be emboldened vis a vis India once it sees itself in the driver's seat in Afghanistan post 2014. Hopefully the govt will factor this in.

Q. India has tons of dossiers on persons who are instigating people to create mischief in India. Is it high time that India started its covert operations to either bring the culprits to law or eliminate them? Asked by: EMathew

A. Yes, I do agree that every successive Indian govt owes it to its people to atleast have in hand a range of options that can be examined for use. Foreclosing any option is not wise.

Q. We seem to be missing the point. Yes the commentators have spoken against the Jehadi groups but I have not come across any of them commenting favourabily on the Indian concern of brutality. Yes it is possible that the LOC situation the way it is does have violation and it is possible that it was a retaliation to an earlier incident but does it give a right for such barbaric action? Asked by: Annonymous

A. Of course not, the brutality is condemnable and uncivilised. And every right minded individual will agree with this sentiment. No civilised army should dishonour an enemy soldier.

Q. I think time has come for all the citizens of India to present our united stand... boycott anything that is Pakistani.. Products, people, actors and actresses from across Pakistan.. Let it be know that we have considered Pakistan's evil designs as insult to the nation.. No sports, no cultural exchanges, no sur sangram or comedy shows inviting Pakistanis...., until people of Pakistan realise this and force ts Govt as well as military to mend their ways...and if this also does not succeed, finally take military action.. Do you agree? Asked by: profanilgor

A. An official boycott would be dangerous. It could end up uniting all stakeholders - who may even disagree with Rawalpindi -- behind the Pakistani army. how will that help India? at an individual level, every Indian can choose whether or not to consume Pak products or services. but as the recent cricket series shows, we are also a schizophrenic society :)

Q. Why is there so much discord between Indian personalities and Pakistan personalities always state the same position by one and all? Is out fraternity still in dream-world? Asked by: EMathew

A. Differences of opinion arise from freedom of thought and speech - so we should be grateful for that :) but to be fair, i have heard a range of opinion, privately and publicly, from Pakistani commentators too. perhaps we as media should be giving more space to 'liberal' voices from across the border.

Q. Seems like it was a retaliation according to The Hindu. Your remarks? http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/runaway-grandmother-sparked-savage-skirmish-on-loc/article4291426.ece Asked by: Jiten

A. Yes - this is interesting, isn't it? and it cant be ruled out. That's why both sides will be wise to manage this now so that it doesn't escalate further.

Q. Shouldn't we stop bilateral sports b/w the 2 countries? What is the desperate need to have these? Yugoslavia was banned in 1992, during the apartheid govt. in SA, cricket was banned, Moscow and Los Angeles Olympics were boycotted! Asked by: Gaurav

A. But what is the harm? and will an official boycott put an end to terrorism or infiltration? not engaging with Pakistan has been tried and didn't work.

Q. Don't you feel that people of the like of Mani Shankar Aiyar be politely to shut up and not bend backwards as there is no positive response coming from the Pakistani speakers.It sounds like a weak country trying to give the other cheek after being slapped. Asked by: Annonymous

A. Not at all. Mr Aiyar has a right to his views. He should be free to air them.

Q. There have been a gradual increase in the cease fire violation since 2009, let us not bury that and see the writing on the wall. How does liberalising trade and a vis regime change the mindset? This is evident from the way the Pakistani establishment and their commentators coming on Indian channel demonstrated their ideas? Asked by: Arun

A. Don't you think the govt realises that infiltration and terrorism continue? why else is Pakistan unable to get India to have a worthwhile discussion on sir creek, Siachen and Kashmir - leave alone settle these disputes?

Q. Pak has often shown little or no inclination to peace while India has always lent the olive branch? And as always, Pak would be involved in a greater plot to harm India. Isn't this becoming a pattern that India should see and take concrete steps to ensure this doesn't happen in the future. Asked by: EMathew

A. India sees that ultimately it's for Pakistan's govt and army to decide on what kind of a relationship it wants with India. How can India change anyone's behaviour? It can only do it's best to manage the contradictions.

Q. You might say that people in Pakistan want to have cordial relations with India. But I don't think any more than 30% Pakistanis want that! Pakistanis continue to attack India in any form-fake currency, terrorism, attack it internationally-media? What is the way ahead, seriously speaking? Asked by: Gaurav

A. In my view, the way ahead is engagement. Talking to the pakistan govt doesn't mean we are selling out. Pls note there is no progress on the issues Pakistan army really wants to resolve -- Kashmir and Siachen. So we should be firm that terrorism and infiltration should not be rewarded and continue to engage with the people and govt of Pakistan.

Q. Howsoever, we may hope that Pakistan will reply to our peace endeavors, it will not, simply because there is deep-rooted hatred against India. Right from school textbooks, they preach hatred against India. And time and again, they have lied on serious issues and continue to hurt India. Shouldn't India stop all relations with Pakistan as USA and EU are doing against Iran, North Korea, etc and marginalize Pakistan internationally? Asked by: Gaurav

A. Soon after 26/11 India had the world putting pressure on Pakistan -- but as time passed, other issues became priority for the international community. so there is a limit to pursuing international isolation of Pakistan. I feel India has wisely chosen to deal with Pakistan bilaterally.

Q. Yes not engaging with Pakistan might not work but until and unless they stop publishing school textbooks that preach hatred against us, will anything work? And what is the desperate need to give work to Pakistani performers, celebrities, sportspersons here when Pakistan is not doing the same? Asked by: Gaurav

A. Despite our issues with Pakistan, There is clearly a market for Pakistani artists and sportspersons in this ctr. They are welcome here for that reason also - not just because the govt wants to normalise ties.

Q. Despite numerous attacks,either frontal or from the back,why is India so keen on befriending the Pakistanis?They neither have superior technology nor natural resources. Can't we shift the focus to east, like the Myanmar and other adjoining countries? Asked by: Tompok

A. India should have healthy relations with all its neighbours.

Q. Any terrorist attack or fake currency being brought into India cannot succeed until and unless there is local support! Do you agree? Asked by: Gaurav

A. Yes, for sure but that's not to ignore the fact that these actions continue to be part of policy - framed and implemented by powerful sections within Pak - to hurt India.

India, Pakistan, Kargil, 26/11, Siachen, Mani Shankar Aiyar, Jihad, terrorist, Pak army, Military

First Published: January 10, 2013, 4:50 PM IST
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