What we are seeing in Pakistan is the ushering in of an anti-democratic Islamic order through the ballot box. What is more, the Pakistan Army has decided to also indirectly ensure that Islam is never “taken out of Pakistan”.
India must develop comprehensive and workable proposals to not just tone down the present Indo-Pak standoff on the glacier and the international attention it may be inviting, but also to ensure reasonable security arrangements against treachery by any third country.
Unity of purpose and synergy between state institutions required to deal with sectarian violence is largely missing and, as a result, the Pakistani state is responding to the growing Taliban threat in Karachi in a knee-jerk manner.
What is worrying is that the Army is clearly abandoning its earlier pretence of readiness to take the Islamic zealots head on and sections of the establishment seem more willing now to be just silent accomplices.
The Pakistani leadership has apparently come to the point where it realises that for the survival of the country and its structures created by Jinnah, it must buy peace for the present with its arch-enemy India.
The Pakistan Army’s hold on the power structure has weakened due to the deterioration in its relationship with the US military, changes in the social complexion and the penetration of jehadi influence.
There is a need to conclusively revisit the issue of India’s response, and other pro-active measures, to deter and forestall terrorist attacks in future.
If the Army withers away then a fragmentation of Pakistan into a ‘Lebanonized’ state would become inevitable.
Because the Pakistan Army appears to be gearing itself up for large-scale counter-terrorism operations in Punjab and parts of Sindh, India is being engaged diplomatically even as attempts are afoot to bring the situation in Kashmir to a boil.