There has been a lot of noise coming from Pakistan calling for peace with India. Siachen avalanche that killed over 130 Pakistani soldiers added to the calls both from the intelligentsia and some sections of the Pak establishment. The latter seems to be trying to raise an emotional pitch and trying to call on and play with emotions to solve an issue it knows it has no chance of winning in battle.
Indian polity and security planners would do well to not get carried away at all by all this. History is proof enough that calls for peace has always been followed by an adventure from Pakistan.
The Simla agreement was signed in 1972 after the decisive Indian victory in December 1971 war that liberated Bangladesh. India was magnanimous ( I’d call it stupid and a strategic blunder) to give back Pakistan it’s lost territory as well as 91,000 PoWs. Soon enough Pakistan tried to put a spin on the Simla agreement as far as the Siachen Glacier with the wording of “thence north” after Point NJ 9842 and used its friendly relations with the west to start cartographic missions that kept pushing the Pakistani claims towards east well into actually held Indian positions. India was forced to reply with Operation Meghdoot in 1984 and start manning what became the highest battlefield in the world.
In 1998, there were talks of peace again and the then PM undertook a bus ride to Pakistan. The result of this effort was a war in Kargjl which cost India over 500 brave soldiers.
The July 2001 Musharraf visit to India was followed with the Parliament attack and the terror attack on Akshardham temple in the following year. It was India’s fault in trusting the very General who thrust the Kargil war on India.
Since 2004, Musharraf tried to talk his way into a solution on Kashmir. Thankfully somewhere any resolution that was contrary to Indian strategic interests was scuttled. The result was the ghastly 26/11 attacks in Mumbai in 2008 which completely exposed the Pak Army and ISI role along with the terrorists it has harbored and trained for decades.
Pakistan has been in a tight spot over the last couple of years. It’s duplicity in the war on terror has been exposed and it’s source of revenue over the last decade, over $10 billion of US aid and transit charges which sustained its armed forces has been drying up. The US drone strikes which is contentious and demanded to be stopped by Pakistan continue with impunity. It led to the breakdown in the recent US Pak talks on resuming NATO supplies.
President Obama has just visited Afghanistan and signed a long term agreement with the Afghans. Pakistan was banking on the withdrawal of US forces so that it could quickly step in the fill in the vacuum and establish its long cherished strategic depth against India. This is not likely to happen in the foreseeable future though their will be some withdrawal of US forces. The Afghans are not well disposed towards the Pakistanis. India has already invested a lot in developing infrastructure and gained a lot of goodwill among Afghans. India also is helping in training the Afghan army.
All this has meant that a lot of plans of Pakistan have gone haywire. This is the reason why all the clamor for peace. There seems to be no real intention or will from the Pakistani side to resolve any issue. Even post Siachen Avalanche, the call had been for withdrawal of forces to pre 1984 lines. Ridiculous call. It seems more like a case of them buying time to rebuild and regroup against India. They hope for some kind of a foot hold in Afghanistan. That is why the steadfast support to the Haqqani Network and the spate of terror attacks in Afghanistan which points to Pakistan and ISI as its perpetrators through the Haqqani Network. Just today news has come in of Pakistan killing all those Afghans who wanted to enter into peace talks with the Afghan government.
India should not get sucked into this calls for peace even if there is any international pressure to do so. It will only give Pakistan the space it is looking for. India could well face another war or a ghastly terror attack as it has been seen historically. Pakistan does not deserve India’s trust.