Friday, September 8, 2017

India-Pakistan Ties: Who's at Fault For Failing to Resolve Disputes?

India's former foreign secretary Shyam Saran is the latest of a series of ex Indian officials to reveal causes of failures to resolve disputes in India-Pakistan talks in the last two decades.  Mr. Saran was part of the process to resolve Siachin and Sir Creek disputes regarded as "low-hanging fruit".

Similar revelations have been made earlier by former Indian RAW chief A.S. Dulat about the last minute interventions by Indian Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani that resulted in the failure of the Agra Summit between former Pakistan President Musharraf and ex Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee.

Siachin and Sir Creek:

In “How India Sees the World: Kautilya to the 21st Century”, the author Saran recalls the crucial meeting of the CCS (Cabinet Committee on Security) on the eve of India-Pakistan Defense Secretary-level talks in May 2006, where the draft agreement, that had been approved by the Army and other stakeholders, was to be discussed. However, he said two key players, the-then National Security Advisor MK Narayanan and then Army Chief General J.J. Singh made last minute interventions to scuttle the proposal, according to a report in The Hindu newspaper.

“When the CCS meeting was held on the eve of the defense secretary–level talks, [Mr.] Narayanan launched into a bitter offensive against the proposal, saying that Pakistan could not be trusted, that there would be political and public opposition to any such initiative and that India’s military position in the northern sector vis- à-vis both Pakistan and China would be compromised. [Gen] J.J. Singh, who had happily gone along with the proposal in its earlier iterations, now decided to join Narayanan in rubbishing it,” Mr. Saran writes.

Agra Summit Failure:

“This is when L. K. Advani surprised Musharraf by asking for Dawood Ibrahim. This took Musharraf back and a shadow was cast thereafter on the Agra summit.” “As Mr. Mishra put it: “Yaar, hote-hote reh gaya … Ho gaya tha, who toh.”  Ex Indian Intelligence Chief A.S. Dulat

The above quote is from A.S. Dulat who has served as Chief of India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and as Special Director of India's Intelligence Bureau. He was speaking with Indian Journalist Karan Thapar of India Today on a variety of subjects including Kashmir and Musharraf-Vajpayee Agra summit.

Dulat has essentially confirmed the fact that Indian hawks like the BJP leader L.K. Advani are responsible for sabotaging the India-Pakistan summit.

Who's to Blame? 

Revelations by Dulat and Saran have debunked the myth promoted by Indian security analysts, Indian politicians and some western think tanks that regularly blame Pakistan for the failure of past bilateral diplomatic efforts by citing what they believe is the adverse role of Pakistani military in framing Pakistan's policy toward India. This rationale does not explain why the diplomatic initiatives undertaken by Pakistani military leaders from General Zia to General Musharraf have not borne fruit.

Wikileaks on Indian Establishment: 

A more rational explanation for the policy failures has surfaced in secret US embassy cables leaked by Wikileaks and published by The Hindu. After a meeting with India's National Security Adviser and former Indian intelligence chief M.K. Narayanan in August 2009, American Ambassador Timothy Roemer concluded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was isolated within his own government in his “great belief” in talks and negotiations with Pakistan.

Ambassador Roemer said that although Narayanan's hawkish stance on Pakistan was well known, his willingness to “distance himself from his boss (Manmohan Singh) in an initial courtesy call would suggest that PM Singh is more isolated than we thought within his own inner circle in his effort to "trust but verify" and pursue talks with Pakistan particularly in the wake of the hammering his government took from opposition for the July Sharm al-Sheikh statement with (Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza) Gilani.”


There have now been multiple revelations by former Indian officials like Shyam Saran and AS Dulat as well as leaked US diplomatic cables detailing the causes of failures to resolve disputes in India-Pakistan talks in the last two decades.  These disclosures thoroughly debunk the myth promoted by Indian security analysts, Indian politicians and some western think tanks blaming Pakistan, particularly the Pakistani military, for the continuing failures to resolve bilateral disputes with India.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

MQM-RAW Connection 

Ex-Indian Spy Documents RAW's Successes in Pakistan

Has Modi Stepped Up India's Cover War Against Pakistan?

Ex RAW Chief AS Dulat Blames Advani For Agra Summit Failure

Taliban or RAW-liban?

India-Pakistan Cricket Diplomacy

Counter-insurgencyOperation ZarbeAzb

India's Abiding Hostility Toward Pakistan 

India's Israel Envy: Will Modi Attack Pakistan?

Who Killed Karkare?


NBRX said...

That is of course, your contrived viewpoint. It will work for your audience because that is what they want to hear. I don't think a contrary opinion has space on your site or does it?

Anonymous said...

India negotiates from a position of strength.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "India negotiates from a position of strength."

It's an Indian delusion that prevents reaching peace in the neighborhood.

It's the reason for "India at risk" in the words of ex FM Jaswant Singh.

Singh says "India's borders remain unsettled" since independence and Indian policy suffers from "strategic confinement".

"India At Risk: Mistakes, Misconceptions and Misadventures of Security Policy" by Jaswant Singh

"The principal purpose and objectives of our (India's) foreign policy have been trapped between four lines: the Durand Line,; the McMahon Line; the Line of Control (LoC) and the Line of Actual Control (LAC). To achieve autonomy, an absolute necessity in the conduct of our foreign policy, we have to first find an answer to this strategic confinement".

Riaz Haq said...

After talking of two-front #war, #India Army Chief Bipin Rawat now says #China, #Pakistan not a threat via @htTweets

Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Saturday said neither China nor Pakistan is an imminent threat to the country in a departure from his earlier statement wherein he had dubbed the two neighbours India’s northern and western adversaries respectively and that the country needed to be prepared for a two-front war.

“None of the country (China or Pakistan) is a threat,” he said on the sidelines of an event in Uttarakhand’s capital Dehradun on Saturday noon in response to a query.

“What I had said... said,” he went on to add when reminded of his previous remarks made a little over a week after India and China ended one of their worst military face-offs at Doklam at the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction.

China had reacted to Rawat’s earlier remark, saying ties between the two countries should not be derailed.

Against the backdrop of Doklam standoff, the general said, army was extra vigilant at the borders and the security forces were taking appropriate action in the “sensitive areas”.

On Kashmir, he said: “We too want peace and tranquillity in Kashmir and we are doing everything to secure it.”

But at the same breath he added, army was keeping its option open for “surgical strikes”.

Kashmir has been witnessing violent protests and clashes since the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani last year in July.

General Rawat was in Dehradun to attend annual function at Cambrian Hall, his alma mater.

The army chief, who hails from Pauri, studied at Dehradun’s Convent of Jesus and Mary (CJM) till Class 2. Thereafter, he studied at Cambrian Hall between 1969 till 1972 and then did his senior schooling at St. Edward’s School, Shimla.

“I have spent my most memorable days in this school,” he said during the event, dressed in a navy-blue blazer with the school monogram engraved.

He also made special mention of his teacher Shanti Swaroop, who was school coordinator at that time.

Gen touched Swaroop’s feet as a mark of respect and love.

Later talking to reporters, general said the induction of 800 women in the military police, as was planned recently, would be a gradual process as the army “would not get so many women immediately.”

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpt of India Defence Journal:

Kautilya is most famous for outlining the so-called Mandala theory of foreign policy, in which immediate neighbours are considered as enemies, but any state on the other side of a neighbouring state is regarded as an ally, or, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Imagine a series of states to one’s west, and then number them starting with oneself. States numbered 1, 3, 5, 7, and so on will likely be friends, whereas states 2, 4, 6, 8, and so on will probably be enemies. (The same thing can be done with concentric circles, which would look more like a mandala, but it is difficult to envision these circles as states.) Kautilya put this basic principle in a number of different ways, but most simply as, “One with immediately proximate territory is the natural enemy.”58 Elsewhere he stated this Mandala theory of foreign policy in more detail: “With respect to the middle king [he himself], the third and the fifth constituents are friendly elements. The second, the fourth, and the sixth are unfriendly elements.”59

Transcript of Copy of Mandal theory : foreign policy, war and diplomacy
Mandala Theory.
“Your neighbour is your natural enemy and the neighbour’s neighbour is your friend”. This was the basic thought behind Kautilya’s Mandala Theory.

Riaz Haq said...

"Your neighbour is your natural enemy and the neighbour's neighbour is your
friend"; Kautilya said, I quote. For those who are coming across this name
for the first time: Kautilya, also known as Chanakya, was born in 4th
century BC in eastern India. He served as adviser to King Chandragupta of
Mauriyan Emperor. With the application of his very crook and immoral means,
Kautilya helped the small Mauryan kingdom to become one of the greatest
empire of ancient India, which included today's India, Pakistan and

"RAW AND BANGLADESH" (Ch-1)From The Book By Zainal Abedin - Response &

Tuesday November 22 2005 14:16:33 PM BDT

A K Zaman


Akash Reze had more on Kautilya:China and India in the perspective of Sun
Tzu and Kautilya's thought

Akash Reza

1.Over the last few months, herein 'News from Bangladesh', there were many
views highlighting Indian attitude and character. Many of the Indians were
found responding some of those (thanks to them and NFB for providing them
the opportunity).

Unfortunately, instead of self-realization or fact finding, most of them
came up with the tone of intimidation and abuse as usual. Some of them felt
disturbed in anti-Indian attitude and irritated in friendship of Bangladesh
with China. In this pretext, I want to make a comparison of Chinese and
Indian character in the perspective of two of their respective strategic
thinkers, of whom both the countries are equally proud of ­ China's Sun Tzu
and India's Kautilya.

2."Your neighbour is your natural enemy and the neighbour's neighbour is
your friend"; Kautilya said, I quote. For those who are coming across this
name for the first time: Kautilya, also known as Chanakya, was born in 4th
century BC in eastern India. He served as adviser to King Chandragupta of
Mauriyan Emperor. With the application of his very crook and immoral means,
Kautilya helped the small Mauryan kingdom to become one of the greatest
empire of ancient India, which included today's India, Pakistan and

3.Kautilya's famous work is known as 'Arthasastra'.The book is similar to
'The Art of War' by Sun Tzu. But it is not limited to warfare only; rather
it focuses on various aspects of statecraft ­ that is tax, administration,
justice, war, etc. It deals with the 'theory of Mandala' in interstate
relations (which is also considered one of the roots of Indian strategic
thoughts). The 'mandala' is based on the geographical assumption that the
immediate neighbour state is most likely to be an enemy (real or potential)
and a state next to the immediate neighbour is likely to be ones friend,
after a friendly state comes an unfriendly state (friend of the enemy state)
and next to that a friendly state (friend of a friendly state) and so on.
However he also recognized the existence of neutral and mediating states.

4.In a system of mandala, Kautilya advocated six-fold policy to interact
with the neighbours which included co-existence, neutrality, alliance,
double policy, march and war. To achieve this he advised the king to resort
to five tactics: conciliation, gift and bribery, dissention, deceit and
pretence, open attack or war. As such on the question of treaty and alliance
he suggests: "A King should not hesitate to break any friendship or
alliances that are later found to be disadvantageous."

Riaz Haq said...

"Your neighbour is your natural enemy and the neighbour's neighbour is your friend" this was the basic thought behind Kautilya's Mandala theory. Kautilya gave this theory for foreign relations and diplomacy.

Rashid A. said...

Full quote of Kautilya Chanakya also known as Indian Machiavelli:

"Your neighbor is your natural enemy and your neighbor's neighbor is your friend"

It brings together India-Afghanistan (against Pakistan), India-Japan (against China).

Riaz Haq said...

Indian Strategic Thinking: A Reflection Of Kautilya’s Six Fold Policy – Analysis
March 29, 2011 Masood-Ur-Rehman Khattak 15 Comments Analysis, Asia, India, Military, Nuclear, Pakistan, South Asia
By Masood-Ur-Rehman Khattak

1. Peace: “The only time a king will make peace is when he finds himself in relative decline compared to his enemy”. If we analyse this dictum then we will understand that after the 1962 humiliating defeat from China, India established peace with China, because it knew that it cannot win against China. This is a clear indication of the Kautilya’s six fold policy. India is still following Kautilya’s policies to safeguard its interests and defeat its enemies.

2. War: “When a king is in a superior position compared to his enemy, he will attack and wage war.” India has always tried to subdue Pakistan. It’s clear from its current military formation. Indian II- Corps, also known as the Strike Corps, plays a key role in times of conflict with Pakistan. The II Corps holds almost 50 per cent of the Indian strike capabilities and although based at Ambala it is responsible for guarding the border with Pakistan and mainly it is Pakistan focused. India has tried to coerce Pakistan many times in the past. In January 1987, India and Pakistan nearly went to war during a major crisis accelerated by India’s Brass tacks exercises, the largest military maneuvers in the history of South Asia. A tense situation developed in which even a minor clash could have triggered a major conflict. But diplomatic activity brought in the United States and the Soviet Union. President Reagan at that time telephoned Rajiv Gandhi and President Zia, instructing them to “cool it. The threat of nuclear escalation defused the tension. Then in 2001 a terrorist attack on Indian parliament brought both India and Pakistan on the brink of war. Estimated 800,000 troops, including its two strike corps, deployed on India’s western borders, its Air force units and satellite airfields were activated and the fleet moved into northern Arabian Sea to join the western fleet for blockading Pakistan if required. Various reasons were cited behind the Indian action, including the use of coercive diplomacy to mount international pressure on Pakistan. In an expected manner, Pakistan undertook large-scale counter deployments of its troops leading to an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation along the border, which carried the danger of conflict being escalated into nuclear war, not by design, but by misperception, accident, or miscalculation. These two events shows Indian aggressive designs against Pakistan, but due to an effective response from Pakistan Indian could not impose a war on Pakistan.

Chankaya Kautilya in his book also mentioned three types of war first is open war: In which, it is a declared war against a country. Second is a secret war which entails “a sudden attack, terrorizing from one side and attack from another side”. India is effectively pursuing this dictum. India is actively involved in Afghanistan making things worse for Pakistan in Balochistan and FATA. On the other hand it is practicing its Cold Start Doctrine on eastern border to coerce Pakistan. Now Pakistan is facing two front war dilemma from Eastern and Western border. Kautilya support such warfare in his six fold policy. Third is “Undeclared War: Which includes secret agents, religion or superstition, and women against the enemies” India has already waged such war against Pakistan. Pakistan has always criticised India’s malicious involvement in Balochistan and tribal areas of Pakistan. India is also involved in the malicious activities against other neighbouring countries including Srilanka (supporting Hindu Tamils), Nepal, (supporting Maoists Separatists), Bangladesh (supporting Shanti Bahini in Chittagong hills). All these malevolent activities suggest that India is keenly following the Kautilya’s policy to intimidate its neighbours.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan having a free ride in #Kashmir since 2016 due to New #Delhi's follies: Ex #RAW Chief A S Dulat. #India … via @economictimes

The former spymaster stated that whatever is happening in Valley after 2016, is an aberration and gun was neither the solution in 1990 nor it is the solution in 2018.

“The story of Pakistan is over in Kashmir. What has happened post 2016 is again an invitation to Pakistan, because of which they are having free extra ride here.

Read more at:

Riaz Haq said...

In one of the most unusual books to be published in recent times, Lt. Gen. Asad Durrani, who was chief of Pakistan’s all-powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in the 1990s, has collaborated on a set of espionage dialogues with A.S. Dulat, the former head of India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). by Barkha Dutt

. Durrani and Dulat’s book, “Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace” has garnered enormous scrutiny on both sides of the fence.


The book’s central premise is that old political formulas have failed, civilian governments in Pakistan are hardly empowered, and it is time to allow an institutional line of dialogue between spies on both sides. Dulat, whom I have known to be an indefatigable optimist, opened secret talks with militants and secessionists in Kashmir and later admitted to me in an interview that both India and Pakistan paid money to try to influence them, conceding wryly that “corrupting someone with money is more ethical than killing them.”


Contrary to official accounts in both his country and the United States, Durrani claimed that Pakistan directed the U.S. Navy SEALs to Osama bin Laden’s hideout in 2011. “I have been giving my assessment right from the 3rd of May, 2011, just a day after the raid,” Durrani told me in an interview. “It just so happens that most of the investigative journalists — at home and abroad — came to nearly the same conclusion.....

Durrani’s other big reveal was about the Kashmir conflict. India has long documented how Pakistan has patronized terror groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-a-Mohammed to create unrest in the Kashmir valley. Intriguingly, when asked in the book to say what he thought was the biggest failure of the ISI, Durrani replied: “When the Kashmir uprising happened we did not know how far it would go. We didn’t want it to go out of control, which would lead to a war that neither side wanted…. ISI’s leverage on the Kashmir insurgency turned out less than successful.” Durrani was ISI chief in 1990-1992, during the insurgency’s early years. When I asked him whether the direction Kashmir has taken has proved difficult for both nations, he said, “True, it wasn’t easy to keep a handle on it — as the Indians too must have concluded over time.” But taking a swipe at India, he added sarcastically, “Oh, I think Pakistan knows what to do with it; sit back and watch.” Dulat’s answer to the question of RAW’s failures with Pakistan was just as candid: “That we have not been able to turn an ISI officer at a level where it counts.”

There are other valuable nuggets for watchers of a region that President Bill Clinton once called “a nuclear flash point.” Dulat shared how a border cease-fire was brokered in 2003 as a result of secret meetings between the head spooks of either side. He revealed that a tipoff from RAW saved the life of former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf and said Musharraf had even conveyed his gratitude.

As army chief, Musharraf pushed Pakistani soldiers into India in 1999 leading to the Kargil war. His hard-line statements and actions made him a deeply contentious figure in India. Yet, Dulat insisted, “There has been no more reasonable Pakistani leader than General Musharraf.”

But it’s the no-holds barred description about key officials in both countries that’s got everyone talking. “Get Doval to Lahore; he loves Pakistan,” said Dulat of the Indian National Security adviser, Ajit Doval, regarded as a hard-liner in Pakistan. Durrani was less than complimentary about Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who he said has the “acumen of a camel” on international relations. And on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi? Durrani said: “A fox. Modi is smart.”

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s civil–military imbalance is misunderstood
14 June 2018
Author: Hussain Nadim, University of Sydney

The reality is a lot more complicated than this Eurocentric view of Pakistan’s civil–military relations, which tends to reinforce a perception of Pakistan that serves Western powers and interests. At the core of this Eurocentrism is a tendency to view Pakistan’s civil–military relations through a foreign policy lens, while almost entirely neglecting the domestic political and structural issues at play. Western commentary also tends to treat civilian political leaders as passive actors, overlooking their role in the imbalance.

The civilian and military leadership in Pakistan are on the same page when it comes to foreign and security policies. Disagreements are only over the right methods for achieving these foreign policy goals, and reflect an internal power struggle rather than an ideological difference between civilian and military factions.

For instance, after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif took power at the 2013 elections, he was interested in bold steps to move quickly on peace with India — often even going beyond state protocol and opening backdoor channels. The Pakistan Army was not disinterested in peace with India. Military leaders just wanted to mend relations in a systematic way that would not compromise Pakistan’s interests and that would make peace last beyond rhetoric.

Military leaders advised caution and small steps to achieving sustainable peace with India — advice which Sharif ignored. After several months of futile attempts to court Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who pressed hard on Pakistan after his rise to power, Sharif faced an embarrassing situation. He accepted that his strategy had been a failure and allowed the military to devise a new strategy to engage India.

Civilian and military leaders were similarly split over issues of method when it came to tackling terrorist safe havens inside the country. In 2013, the then new government under Sharif was not interested in launching operations inside the country against the Taliban and other extremist actors. The government instead began peace talks with the terrorist outfits despite repeated advice from the Pakistan Army to the contrary.

The Pakistan army pushed the view that terrorist outfits use ‘peace talks’ as a pretence to regroup, develop credibility and then launch attacks again when the government is vulnerable. Months later, when the terrorists continued their attacks on Pakistan and US forces despite the ongoing negotiations with the Pakistani government, Sharif again was sheepish in front of Pakistan’s security establishment and allowed the military to launch an operation.

When it comes to Pakistan’s current foreign policy posture, there appears to be no rupture in civil–military relations. Both civilian and military leaders support deep ties with China, opening up to Russia, balancing the Middle East, defying the United States and finding a sustainable peace with India and Afghanistan. Even the ‘Dawn leaks’ controversy was less a matter of disagreement over foreign policy than a case of the civilian government trying to embarrass the military establishment.

While civil and military leaders in Pakistan are locked in a power struggle, they are on the same page in terms of foreign and security policy — which is why Pakistan has seen much policy continuity over the past four decades. Civilian leaders pitch this domestic power struggle to international audiences as a matter of ‘foreign policy’ and a ‘fight for democracy’ for the purposes of seeking international endorsements that can be leveraged in the local power tussle.

This absence of nuance in Western academic writing and commentaries on Pakistan is not just a blind spot. It is deliberate neglect whereby the dominant characterisation of Pakistan’s civil–military relations is constructed to suit Western political interests that include aligning Pakistan’s national security policies with that of the West, and having a strong check on its nuclear program.