Monday, August 24, 2015

Why Narendra Modi’s hardline Pakistan policy is deeply flawed

Sushil Aaron, Hindustan Times

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Ufa, Russia. (PTI File Photo)

What makes for good television is not always sound policy. Tackling a state with recidivist elements demands a complex response that goes beyond mere posturing. All that the current approach does is generate toxic effects in Indian society

Islamabad learnt a bitter lesson in diplomacy during the dust-up over national security adviser talks with India —that once a side triumphs in the drafting of a text i.e., a joint statement, it can control the narrative about events.
There’s little doubt that from Pakistan’s vantage, the joint statement at Ufa was very badly drafted. ...
To begin with, many have already asked as to why the agenda was not sorted out by New Delhi well in advance, if terrorism was to be the singular agenda. ...
Once that public diplomacy agenda of projecting Modi and NSA Ajit Doval [see] as strongmen was on, was there any surprise that Islamabad would trot out a meeting with Kashmiri separatists to burnish its own moral credentials by insisting on the “core issue”? Islamabad was, in any case, still very resentful of the way Modi peremptorily called off foreign secretary talks last year – and so India’s posturing gave Islamabad the excuse to grandstand as well.

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