No anti-India angle as yet
India has usually been wary of instability and tussles among the multiple power centres in Pakistan because it fears this increases the chances of terror attacks. Jayanth Jacob writes.india Updated: Jan 22, 2012 00:01 IST
India has usually been wary of instability and tussles among the multiple power centres in Pakistan because it fears this increases the chances of terror attacks. This time is different. “The situation in Pakistan is evolving, so we shouldn’t jump the gun,” says an Indian official who declined to be named. “Nothing suggests we need to worry about an anti-India angle.”
Salman Haider, a former foreign secretary, agrees. “While instability in Pakistan will affect India, there is no major public sentiment there against us,” he says.
So is there no terror threat? “It’s too early to say that there is a change in Pakistan’s position in this regard,” says MK Bhadrakumar, a former diplomat who headed the external affairs ministry’s division dealing with Pakistan in much more tense times. “But there is calm now and that’s worth noting.”
The simmering anger in Pakistan against the Americans and the West as well as the war in Afghanistan that the US is in a hurry to conclude should explain why even hardcore anti-India outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba are not taking advantage of the instability.
But New Delhi is understandably concerned about the peace process slowing down because the main stakeholders in Pakistan are embroiled in domestic issues, says the Indian official who wanted anonymity. India is also worried about the domestic crisis affecting the endgame in Afghanistan.
“When the central authority is weakened, it does comes in the way of the peace process”, agrees Haider, who facilitated the dialogue between the two countries before they abandoned it following the Mumbai terror strike in 2008.
Also, it isn’t easy to say which dispensation in Pakistan is good for India. “As a neighbour, India has to engage with Pakistan,” said an official “We deal with whoever is in power.”