shiv wrote:If you cannot say what pressure how do you say that there is pressure and it comes from the West? This seems to be your opinion and if so I respect it as your opinion, though I disagree. There is a constituency of people who see the American/western hand in anything that happens in the world - I don't think you are one but I don't see any specific western pressure to make pointless gestures that actually do not make the Pakistani army happy and take everyone off guard and in fact makes some people angry that they were not told or consulted.
Personally I think all that Modi has done is to make himself look good and has cornered both the opposition in India and the Pakis into a situation where he looks good no matter what happens now at least up until the next terrorist attack.
The emphasis of my post was captured in the first sentence:
I think Modi's Pakistan strategy is aimed at a wider audience.
A principal member of that wider audience is the US. The integrity of Pakistan is IMO of central importance to the US primarily because of the nuclear weapons that Pakistan possesses and that possession flows directly from US policy in the 1980s.
One of the primary fears in Pakistan from a military standpoint has been an Indian armoured thrust that will go all the way up to the Indus river and effectively cut Pakistan into 2. Their nuclear saber rattling from time to time is founded on this fear.
The crux of Modi’s policy appears to be to calm Pakistani fears of a large scale offensive Indian military ground operation. I think Parrikar’s comments sometime ago about the importance or lack thereof the Indian Army should be seen in this context.
That does not mean IMO that the Indian armed forces will be deprived of effective tools for defence as well as offensive special ops to combat terrorism. But the kind of arms acquisitions that India makes over the term of the Modi Government will provide clues about this strategy.
So in essence what Modi is signaling to the West is:
Our primary objective over the next several years is to develop our economy in peace. We have no designs on Pakistan or it’s territory and in fact we will welcome a genuine peace. Towards that end I and my Government will maintain open channels of communication including senior level face to face meetings with Pakistan. However inspite of that if India is still subject to cross border terrorism, it will not be because of any lack of working towards peace from our side.
So to come back to your point about US pressure. IMO the US concern and pressure is primarily about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons falling into the hands of those who will use them against the US and its allies. That risk will be greatly enhanced in the event of a large scale India Pakistan war when Pakistan could start moving it’s nuclear weapons around. So Modi is signaling to the US, that India is not going to start a large scale war but will maintain contacts with Pakistan including at the highest level.
So the next issue is about Pakistan sponsored terrorism. I seriously doubt whether Modi believes that Pakistan based terrorism will ever end without Pakistan itself being destroyed as an entity. The news report about Kashmir being on the agenda is probably Modi exploring whether the status quo position will be acceptable as a permanent solution. And more important whether the Pakistan Army is on board with that solution and enforces it. That is IMO the minimum necessary for terrorism to end. And therefore I don’t think that these meetings with Sharif are about the hope for any real progress towards peace but rather a mechanism to signal India’s posture for the benefit of a wider audience. When the next large scale terrorist attack happens in India I suspect that these meetings will stop and depending on the SF capability that India has built up in the interim, there may even be some kind of retaliation. But India’s credentials as an actor working for peace with Pakistan will not take the kind of beating that it would have in past confrontations. That at least is what Modi is working towards IMO so that economic linkages with the West i.e. FDI, technology transfers etc. continue unscathed without the threat of sanctions etc.