India always insisted that there would be no negotiations with Pakistan until Pakistan stopped all terror activities in India controlled from its soil. But there is a shift in its policy as it is being observed now. The situation in Afghanistan has brought about this shift in policy it seems.
If the international forces withdraw from Afghanistan in the near future, the Taliban will resurface and take control of the entire Afghanistan. Pakistan, who is a buffer state between India and Afghanistan, will then be required to contain the Taliban or the situation in Kashmir could get out of hand. Also, arms would flow freely in the whole of India.
It was a good opportunity for India to have its interests met in Pakistan after the arrest of Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed. India could have held talks with Pakistan and offered its co-operation and taken the matter further from there. Instead, it chose to bargain harder and insisted that the terror suspects be handed over before talks could resume.
Now, after the situation in Afghanistan is clearly emerging in favour of the Taliban, Pakistan has released Hafiz Saeed and lifted the ban on other terror organizations. The seriousness of the situation can be gauged by the fact that in spite of the release of Hafiz Saeed and the Pune blast, India wants to go ahead with the talks.
Though no major agreement on any important issue is expected, to start the dialogue itself will be the achievement. It might discourage those on both sides, who at any cost don’t want the talks to happen. It is another matter that after every round of confidence building measures between the two countries there has been more suspicion of each other. It has been seen that after every interaction there is a verbal war on either side accusing the other of being non cooperative and adamant. This time too they will talk but not beyond their limited interests.
Talks held just to show the world that the communication between the two countries is on will help. They should talk with boldness and with a resolve to find a solution. If there are positive results from talks, there will be no need to show to anybody that we are opening the route of communication. The message will reach all disruptive forces that the two countries and their people are mature enough to have understood the problem and are moving towards the solution. For this we need dynamic leadership, great statesmanship and the support of the people.
The Prime Minister of India is scheduled to visit Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the last week of February for talks. This visit is being undertaken after intelligence inputs from the civilian administration and defence forces. The Prime Minister will brief King Abdullah of the situation in Afghanistan. The India delegation would like to convey to the Saudis that there are 17 crore Muslims in India which is the second largest Muslim population in the world. Since the Taliban and the Pakistan government have good relations with the Saudi rulers, India wants the Saudis to dissuade the Taliban and Pakistan from harming India. But whether the Taliban or the Pakistan administration can be persuaded is doubted.
India is also spending billions of rupees in Afghanistan to have its influence increased in this country. It would have been a better approach by India, if it spends the same wealth for the welfare of the Muslims and other backward communities of India. India fears that if Taliban attacks India sooner or later, the Kashmiri community too will rebel and join the Taliban. This is being propagated by the right wing elements and unfortunately influences the Indian government policies. The fact cannot be denied that Kashmiris, since Independence, have been complaining that they are being deprived of the development that takes place in the rest of India and that their demands are not heard.
Notably, a united country need not seek help from outsiders. In India, unity does not exist because some of the communities living in it are not given their rights. If India spends the billions of rupees, which it is doing in Afghanistan, on the deprived Indians, offers every citizen their due and treats them equally, there will be no need of seeking assistance from Pakistan to be protected from Taliban.
If equality seizes to exist in India, there is no need for the Taliban to attack India. Naxalites, ULFA, KLF,AB and Shiv Sena etc. are sufficient to destabilize India.
If India was strong from within then there was no need to run to Pakistan for talks. All these years of mistreating the backward, the poor, the tribals, the minorities etc. is coming back to the government. It is more advisable for India to set right its own house first and then to protect itself from outside elements.