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The Amritsar Declaration of the Heart of Asia Conference on Sunday specifically named Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad terror groups active in Kashmir as a threat to peace and the need to eliminate them. This is delight to the Indian diplomats who had been looking for the names of these Pakistan based groups to pin down Islamabad to further their charge that the neighbouring country is the university of terrorism from where it exports the men and machines of death and destruction to India and Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz might have thought that he has done his job in sending out a message that it was too simplistic to blame one nation ( Pakistan) for the whole trouble of terrorism, but the world is aware that Pakistan has emerged as a reservoir of global terrorism . There are no doubts about it . This is not because what Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said about Pakistan and its export of terrorism to its neighbhourhood , the fact is that Pakistan sponsored terrorism has been much of the problem for Delhi and Kabul.
Normally, the declarations don’t mean anything beyond the words and their relevance for a while before they fade into oblivion and turn meaningless. But this declaration at this time , when India and Afghanistan are outraged by the terror tools – Taliban in Afghanistan , and JeM and LeT in India, holds a major significance from where Delhi and Kabul can build their case of greater fight against terrorism . The attendant factor is to isolate Pakistan , howsoever irreplaceable it may be in the geo-strategic it may be for the Western world and the emerging super power China and newly invented interest of Russia in China- Pakistan Economic Corridor .
Jammu and Kashmir has taken the direct hit of the situation in Afghanistan since late 1980s, and Pakistan’s designs on Kashmir since 1947 . Therefore, India has a legitimate concern over the increasing number of terror attacks in Afghanistan and Kashmir . A destablised Afghanistan and terror-exporting Pakistan send shockwaves to India . It cannot remain immune to the factories of terrorism in Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir .
Rough estimates are that more than 20,000 local and foreign militants have been killed in Kashmir over the past 26 years . The shape of the landscape in Kashmir has not changed . This spurs a question , whether fighting Pakistan backed terrorism or isolating it would serve the larger objective of the real peace in Kashmir . This question is important , because of the psyche of Kashmiri Muslims have been filled with hate-India campaign , and all these are not the men or women with guns in their hands . Secondly, the hope that the isolation of Pakistan would keep Jammu and Kashmir out of the reach of the trouble of terror , has another angle. Pakistan , if pushed to wall, would become another Somalia . A destablised Pakistan is more dangerous for India than a stablised one .
Of course, it is incumbent upon Pakistani establishment, dominated by its military, to shut the factories of terrorism and it should also recognize the fact that Kashmir ‘s territory or people, cannot be won over by terrorism or the petty games of causing violent disturbances one or the other excuse in the Valley . It was not the primary player in the current unrest, but it let out 24×7 running inflammatory material pipes to flare up the situation . And, those who have chosen to give it a no objection certificate to it are playing politics with Delhi for their own political objectives .
Pakistan’s consistent complaint is that India is shying away from talks on Kashmir , and there are internal forces telling Delhi to engage with Pakistan on Kashmir . Pakistan wants to dictate talks with terrorism as its bargaining chip . That cannot happen . India, should also realize that its stakes in peace in Kashmir are higher than that of any other country, therefore an alternative to isolation of Pakistan has to be found , for its own interests. Unless that is done the declarations would be just eye pleasing lines on paper for Delhi.
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