Relevance : GS Paper II( International Relations)
Theme of the article
Multi-pronged diplomacy is vital to compel Pakistan to end its support for terrorist groups.
Why has this issue cropped up?
In the wake of the Pulwama attack on February 14, the government has iterated once again its plan for the “diplomatic isolation” of Pakistan.
What should India do?
- Recently, Iran and Afghanistan have faced terror attacks on their security forces along the border with Pakistan. Thus, India should try to repackage its idea of “isolating Pakistan” into one of building a more inclusive ‘coalition against terrorism emanating from Pakistan’. In today’s interconnected world, it is vainglorious to expect countries to join a unilateral plan for isolation.
- Second, India must focus on the case against Masood Azhar. His banning and prosecution should be pursued.
- Third, India must prepare for a pushback from Pakistan, most likely in terms of internationalising the Kashmir issue, and linking it to progress in Afghanistan.
- Next, the government must prioritise action over words. It is better for New Delhi to use India’s considerable diplomatic leverage to ensure action that would shut down the JeM and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) permanently and bring their leaders to justice.
- India must also press the U.S. to place travel sanctions on specific entities in the Pakistani military establishment unless visible action is taken against the JeM, whose leaders hold public rallies and issue videos threatening India.
- A similar line of talks must be pursued by New Delhi with Riyadh — which once was a donor to Pakistan’s Islamist institutions, but now is wary of funding extremism — to withhold any funds that may trickle down to charitable wings run by the JeM and LeT.
- With China, it is surprising that the issue of a simple ban at the UN Security Council has not been made India’s chief demand from Beijing. It is hoped that this will be rectified soon when the next proposal to ban Azhar is brought to the UNSC. More than the ban, however, India must ask China for action against any entities dealing with the JeM in Pakistan, given that China is the partner with the most influence in Pakistan today, and one with the most to lose from terror groups in Punjab operating along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
- Finally, India must look to its own actions on the diplomatic front with Pakistan. Calling off a formal dialogue process for more than a decade has clearly yielded no desired outcome. South Asia as a region, and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) process too have suffered the consequences of this disengagement, without yielding any desired outcomes.
A measured, steady and non-political level of dialogue is a more effective way of impressing India’s determination to root out terrorism than the present on-again, off-again policy.