Traditionally, we have believed that both ISI and Pak military dont want peace between the two countries. And then, the rivarly between US and China is pushing those two nations to take sides and further escalate the tensions. But I feel that apart from these issues, there is another dimention to increasing tensions between India and Pakistan.
Lets start with a peep into our recent history. India and Pakistan have been rivals since the birth of Pakistan. The birth itself was a conspiracy by British and other vested interests to keep the South-Asian peninsula divided forever.
The neighbors have already fought few wars and one of them almost escalated to the brink of turning into a nuclear war. When Pakistan realized that it cannot win a direct war with India, the ISI and Military establishment resorted to proxy war through various terror groups. It has been proved beyond doubt that these terror outfits are involved in cruel terror attacks on Indian soil.
Parallelly, There have been numerous attempts to restore the peace between the fighting archrivals. Civilian leadership has tried to engage in dialogues and talks. There has been little progress on this front. Repeated ceasefire violations by Pak army and its continued support to terror outfits has corroded the trust factor between the two nations.
The point to be noted is: everytime the two nations make some progress on peace front, tensions start escalating again derailing the entire peace process.
So, who wants a constant tension between India and Pakistan? Whose interests are served if both the countries are constantly engaging in warfare? Is it just the ISI and Pak army that wants to hurt India? What is the third dimension to Indo-Pak war apart from ISI or Military? To understand more, we need to look into the defense imports of the two countries.
India and Pak, both, are dependant on defense companies from US, Europe, Russia and China. We (both India and Pak) spend billions of dollars on our defense imports annually. We are heavily dependant on these countries/companies for our defense equipment.
It is this equation that is more dangerous than ISI or military leadership’s plots. These defense companies and countries that export defense equipment stand to loose billions of dollars if the peace settles down in this region. These defense companies dont want a constant dialogue and peace talks betweek two nations. It is this vulnerability of the two nations that adds fuel to the existing tensions.
I suspect that these defense companies constantly fund and arm the terror outfits to create more havoc. It might just sound like a conspiracy theory. But it seems more convincing if we look into the nitty-gritties of both the nations and incidents that have derailed the peace process.
Now, the question is : how do we fix this?
Here is what I think we need to do:
1. India and Pak both should engage in constant dialogue irrespective of attempts by vested interests to derail the process.
2. India should invest more in indegenious defense related R&D. Develop all defense equipment indegeniously.
3. Establish more advanced research facilities on the lines of DRDL
4. Reduce dependancy on foreign companies/countries for our defense equipmemt
5. Keep US or UN or China out of the peace process. Engage with Pak directly without any intervention from third parties.
Once we completely reduce our dependency on these defense companies, they become irrelevant to us amd they stand zero chance of benefitting from tensions. And then the constant dialogue between two countries will strengthen the relationship that will indirectly weaken the plot of ISI or Pak militaty.
India is a matured democracy unlike Pakistan. And the onus of leading the peace process lies exclusively on Indian political leadership. But what remains an unaswered question is: do we have the political will to accept the reality and take a giant leap of faith?