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Response of Pakistan on Pathankot Terrorist Attack Will Determine the Indo-Pak Relations

Since the inauguration of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister of India in May 2014, by inviting all the leaders ofSouth Asiaon his oath taking ceremony, he sent a clear message that he wants to have friendly relations with all neighbouring countries. To further bolster this resolve he made visits to all neighbouring countries including Pakistan that has very bitter relations with India since it came into existence in 1947 at the time of independence after division of India. PM Modi is a pro-development man and he knows very well that unless and until peace is established inside and as well as with neighbouring countries, desired pace of development can not be achieved. He also knows very well that low hanging fruit of economic development lies in regional economic cooperation and integration for all the regional partners.  Therefore, he accorded high priority to regional cooperation in South Asia and even went extra miles in his foreign policy by visiting Pakistan.


However, despite Indian PM’s effort and the positively changing mood of civilian government in Pakistan towards India, non-state actors and some of the military establishment in Pakistan through their covert operation are sabotaging the normalization of relations between India and Pakistan. And Pathankot terror attack is an outcome of the same as these non-state actors and some military establishments are not happy with visit of Modi to Pakistan and forthcoming Secretary level talks between India and Pakistan. The main reason for this is that there is no control of civilian government on military as evident from previous military coups. The other reason for the same is nexus between military and non-state actor i.e. terrorist groups. Economic and other strategic interest of military and non-state actors lies in anti-India rhetoric. Non state-actors are using religion for legitimacy of their terror activities and military has also provided support to them in their efforts. This has led to radicalization of a certain section of their society since time of Soviet-Afaghan conflict in eighties who are ready to lay their life for ideologies. However, apparatus of terror organization created by them  has started backfiring them as evident from Bagah Border bombing, attack on naval base and Peshawar killings etc.


Now PM Modi has done his part to improve relations with Pakistan. Now, it is to be seen that how Pakistan is responding to Pathankot terror attack when relevant evidences of involvement of some of non-state actors as well as some military officers of Pakistan have been handed over to Pakistan to take action  within a deadline of 72 hours. Pakistan should take it as an opportunity to crackdown on terror outfits in order to eradicate terrorism on its own soil. If Pakistan is sincere to eradicate terrorism from its soil and its civilian government is really capable, then some concrete action against perpetrators of Pathankot attack will be visible. Otherwise, if Pakistan is not sincere or its civilian government is not capable, then it will take the excuse of fleeing of non-state actors or seek some more evidences and time. In that case, it will be a decisive moment for course correction for PM Modi towards its Pakistan policy. What type of course correction by India in Indo-Pak policy will take place that only time will tell, but it will be definitely different from previous ones and will be surprising.

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