Will terror freeze Indo-Pak talks?

JAIPUR: India and Pakistan appear unlikely to go back to meaningful engagement any time soon. In a sign that the Modi government will continue to take a hard stance on Pak-sponsored terror in the wake of the Pathankot attack, national security adviser Ajit Doval on Tuesday said countries that support and sponsor terrorism have to be tackled more vigorously. 

Addressing a conference on counter-terrorism in Jaipur, Doval said, "When states feel they can outsource the instrument of coercion to some non-state actors to achieve their political objectives, that has proven to be the most counter productive method. All countries which have tried it have had it boomerang on them." 

Doval's remarks indicate a couple of things — first, India is not ready to go back to talking to Pakistan until there is some clear action against terror sources in that country. Second, despite the Modi government's outreach to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, terrorism remains the top concern for India. Doval's remarks are more significant given the context of the India-Pakistan dynamic at present. They also make it clear that for India the most important interaction with Pakistan will be on terrorism. 

While he did not name Pakistan, Doval's indication could not be more clear. The world, he said, has been fighting on the periphery. "We have to get to the vitals." He stressed it was important to identify the states which sustain terrorism. "Which are the countries that give them ideological and physical support, weapons and sanctuaries?" 

There are countries that support terrorists in international fora when action is sought to be taken against them, he added in a reference to China which stopped the UN Security Council from taking action against Jaish-eMuhammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar in 2015. The terror outfit is also blamed for the Pathankot attack. 

The world came together to fight terror after the 9/11attacks in 2001, he said. "Where are in 2015. Casualties are 320% higher. Geographical spread of terror has expanded immensely — we are finding it in areas which had never seen terror before. States' expenditure in terms of money, lives and defence systems has also increased manifold. When the history of the world is written, will it be said that these were the wasted 15 years, which created a sense of insecurity in civil societies," he said. 

Looking for lessons in the way the world has fought terror so far, Doval said it was important to assess whether the countries fighting terrorism took the wrong decisions that made things worse for the world today. "If countries have to defeat this menace, they have to smother everything that sustains terror. We have gone to the periphery and the symptoms but not the vitals of terrorism. The vitals are the states that have given support to terror. There must be adequate deterrence against them," Doval said. 

Source http://m.timesofindia.com/india/Will-terror-freeze-Indo-Pak-talks/articleshow/50828491.cms


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