November 24, 2008Afghanistanal-qaedaForeign AffairsIndiainternational relationsJammu & Kashmirnuclear deterrencePakistanSecurityTalibanterrorismUnited States

Great Cuckoo sightings

It is foolish to think that Pakistan supports terrorism because of Kashmir

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

An old intellectual affliction is returning. No, we are not referring to the increase in the sales of Karl Marx’s book. We are referring to the increase in the number of articles that chant solve Kashmir to sort Pakistan out”.

Here’s another blog which, like its favourite analyst, has fallen prey to the Great Cuckoo:

few ask why Pakistan supported (and supports) the Taliban and various militant and terrorist groups. A key reason is India. Pakistan’s conventional forces are far inferior to India’s and Islamabad has lost many a war and minor clash to New Delhi before. Only through its nuclear arsenal and support for terrorism as a foreign policy tool can Pakistan equalize the situation. The primary reason for this is the ongoing dispute over Kashmir. Obama seems to get that before you get to Afghanistan, you must go through Pakistan, and before them, you must go through Kashmir. [Coming Anarchy]

Why is this absurd? Because nuclear deterrence reassures the Pakistani army against an Indian invasion. Remember, India did not expand the 1999 Kargil war to the international border. So the argument that Pakistan needs jihadis to defend itself against an Indian attack does not hold water, certainly not under conditions of nuclear deterrence.

On the contrary, jihadis are the problem—for India, but also for Pakistan—because they are agents of destabilisation in a nuclear setting. The last time there was a threat of war was when they attacked the Indian parliament. If, in the event, war didn’t actually break out, one suspects that nuclear weapons had something to do with it. Surely the Indian government was not deterred from ordering punitive strikes into Pakistani territory out of fear of jihadis?

Instead of concluding that getting rid of the jihadis is the solution to most of these problems, Chirol succumbs to the flawed logic that solving Kashmir (presumably to Pakistan’s satisfaction) will somehow cause the jihadis to go away. Go away where?

But Chirol is right about one thing: a key reason why Pakistan supports terrorists is, indeed, India itself. It’s hard to solve that one, though.



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