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2 pm Aug 08, 2013

Should India call off talks with Pakistan?

Should India go in for hasty blowback decisions like cancelling talks with Pakistan? Or should it engage more with the civilian government in Islamabad to exert more pressure on rogue state and non-state actors who are hell bent on hurting India?
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16 questions answered | 1 question pending
  • Do you think or foresee that India and Pakistan is likely to conclude upon their relations by of full fledge War in near future? Asked by: MP
  • M K Bhadrakumar I do not foresee a war breaking out between India and Pakistan - for a variety of reasons. Each day is adding to the hiatus between the two countries as military powers. Both countries are inclined to focus on the development of their economies. The nuclear deterrent is an added factor. Both countries have elected governments that are accountable. Over and above, it so happens that the two leaderships have a vision for their respective counties that per se emphasise the imperatives of peace and regional stability.
  • Can India handle the situation if at all there comes a war at the same time by Pak and China?! Whether the foreign policy and soft state image as it is now should be changed in world forum? Asked by: Girish Kalagond
  • M K Bhadrakumar Of course, it is the duty of the armed forces to be in a state of preparedness for all eventualities, including the worst case scenario that you mentioned. That helps us to cope with the actual threats, as they come. Personally, I feel a simultaneous war with China and Pakistan can be ruled out. I don't even get the sense that there can be a war between India and China or between India and Pakistan. The regional politics and the international milieu militate against wars. India's main threat comes form internal security issues.
  • Should we also hold Army top Brass accountable for this? I can't understand how Army has not learned from previous incident of soldiers behading. Asked by: Vinayak
  • M K Bhadrakumar A very good question. I can't possibly add to it - except to say that like any mature country we should honestly introspect rather than take to the high ground and speak self-righteously. No incident, including the Poonch tragedy, takes place in a total vacuum and, suffice to say, it takes two to tango.
  • Sir How do you differentiate two rough country 1st one North Korea and 2nd one is Pakistan, both the country are born from the other one (South Korea and India), but as Both India and South Korea are progressive and development oriented country other two are Rough and no future , do you think India should continue with talk process even if we know its wont fruitful . Asked by: Alok
  • M K Bhadrakumar Yes, indeed, be it on the situation on the Korean peninsula or the subcontinent, I am always for dialogue and peaceful resolution of disputes. What you pointed out is right insofar as when brothers quarrel, often they bring a lot of passion into it. The strength of India (or South Korea) certainly lies in it being a democratic country.
  • dont u think its a high time to end all the relations with pakistan untill the pakistan sponsored cross border terrorism is stopped? Asked by: Nomula Vinod
  • M K Bhadrakumar Breaking off contacts is a not a difficult thing to do but it serves no purpose. Past experience bears testimony to it.
  • What steps should the govt take so that Pak stops killings at LoC? Asked by: anurag
  • M K Bhadrakumar The best approach it to engage Pakistan continuously, resolve the 'doable' problems, and build up a climate of trust and confidence. The consolidation of the democratically elected government in Pakistan under Nawaz Sharif could make a world of difference, too. On our part, therefore, the path chosen by our leadership to engage the Sharif government is the most realistic option.
  • hello-why we cab not spell out a declared open "standard operating procedure" thru diplomatic & military communication that our response will be double-we will walk extra mile for friendship but will inflict double the damage in case of attack Asked by: avinash
  • M K Bhadrakumar In India, we should develop a culture for balanced discussion on such highly sensitive topics. What is happening is that the public opinion is formed not on the basis of full information. There is an action-reaction syndrome prevailing on the tense India-Pakistan border and to my mind both sides need to apply diligently and sincerely to the situation. Pakistan's support to cross-border terrorism is preventing this from happening.
  • How should India develop fear factor on Pak army's mind so that they think twice acting in dubious manner? Asked by: anurag
  • M K Bhadrakumar Most experts agree that Pakistani army is in no position to fight a war with India. It is overstretched on the Afghan border and keeps a relatively thin presence on the Indian border. Pakistan's preoccupation is its internal security emanating out of the growing threat posed by the Taliban to the Pakistani state. This paradigm cannot change in a near future. So, where is the need to put 'fear' into the Pakistani army's mind. It knows its job and its limitations well enough.
  • Aren't INDIANS fed up with Pakistans double talk and dubious actions ??? Asked by: Naina
  • M K Bhadrakumar Self-righteousness and the injection of a monopoly over moral virtue have no place in diplomacy, which works on the basis of ground reality rather than rhetoric or emotions.
  • With the present Indian Incumbent Government to face elections shortly,better to postpone talks and get the act together with the newly elected Government in 2014.The credibility of talks will be better. Yourtake on this ?/ Asked by: sundar1950in
  • M K Bhadrakumar The politics of the region is in transition and is reaching a turning point. It won't wait for our 2014 poll. It becomes imperative that India remains active on the diplomatic front. Time lost can never be regained. Besides, the country's interests should not be held hostage to our elections. Above all, to my mind there is a consensus in our country with regard to ties with Pakistan and the NDA and UPA have substantively followed the same policies. So, where lies the problem?
  • If Obama can cancel his talks with PUTIN on Snowdon matter,our Jawans killing deserves a more serious retaliation.Would you agree ?/ Asked by: sundar1950in
  • M K Bhadrakumar The Russian-American relations have a different history. Obviously, Obama has not called off his visit to Russia in September for the G-20 summit and there in St. Petersburg he will also meet Putin. The foreign ministers and defence ministers of the two powers are, in fact, meeting in Washington later today within the '2+2' format. In short, if Obama has called off his 'bilateral' visit to Moscow (during his September visit to Russia), it can be seen as an expedient move which resonates well in American politics, even as business goes in, as usual, between the two powers. At any rate, India-Pakistan relations have a different character. The politics of the region is at a crossroads, Afghan endgame is approaching, the new Pakistani government led by Nawaz Sharif is making overtures for a fresh approach to relations, the Pakistani attitudes toward India and the country's priorities have dramatically changes in the recent years - all this adds to the raison d'etre of a meeting between the two PMs at an early opportunity.
  • Frequently said statement that Diplomacy should be the way out,when not working,rather harming the country , why not fight it out ?? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • M K Bhadrakumar Diplomacy is always, always, always the cost-effective way of safeguarding the country's interests. War is not even an option unless it is thrust upon us. War brings destruction and bloodshed, damages the economy and more often than not produces results that are unwelcome.
  • Why we should worry too much. we have the best Foreign Minister who brilliantly managed the China's incursion. Shall we not leave the tasks upto him only Asked by: Rakesh
  • M K Bhadrakumar I am inclined to agree that the Indian leadership is vastly experienced in the conduct of foreign policy - and managing the ties with Pakistan.
  • Now whom to talk in PAkistan.THERE prez & PM are not the controllers. The Army there only provides the execution of work. Will there be a talk with the ISI & LeT .Direct negotiations is possible with them ??? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • M K Bhadrakumar We have consistently dealt with the elected governments in Pakistan and that is how we should continue in the period ahead. True, there are multiple power centres in Pakistan, the army being one of them. For a democratic country that places trust in civilian supremacy such as India, the best hope is that the elected government in Pakistan is effective in gaining control over policies and we should not do anything that undermines it.
  • what efforts will be made by future govts to ensure the lives of indian jawans? and unless anything concrete decision is taken between the two govts theres no use in talking?losing innocent lives is a tragedy that shd be stopped but what are the measure you think will be productive Asked by: suresh
  • M K Bhadrakumar The violations of the LOC are endemic and both sides are taking casualty. I agree that the two countries should be rational and mature enough to put behind this action-reaction syndrome. Precious lives are being lost on both sides.
  • To call of the ties with pakistan nation should have a leader with spine, in the government there is no such leader Asked by: Nomula Vinod
  • M K Bhadrakumar Calling off the ties with Pakistan will be an injudicious thing to do, and it would serve no purpose - that is, in the interlude until we resume ties again. I can't see what it has got to do with political courage.

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M K Bhadrakumar
Ex-diplomat & foreign policy expert