Underlining that cross border attacks have greatly “diminished” Pakistan’s international standing, an American think-tank expert today said that as a result of India’s new policy of retaliation Pakistan is in a bind of “its own making”.
“What were once deemed to be Pakistan’s strategic ‘assets’ have become serious liabilities. Cross-border attacks have greatly diminished Pakistan’s international standing and the sympathy it receives abroad for long-held grievances,” Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Stimson Center wrote in an op-ed in Arms Control Wonk.
“Responding to Indian pressure with sub-conventional warfare would only reaffirm these dynamics, while leaving Pakistan open to retaliation in kind. Pakistan is in a bind of its own making. Getting out of this bind will require a new strategy, not the same old tactics,” Krepon argued.
At the same time, Krepon was of the view that while the Prime Minister Narendra Modi might be successful in isolating diplomatically, three major powers the US, Russia and China might not be willing to do so as of now.
“By ratcheting up the pressure on Pakistan, Modi could invite additional attacks that would further damage Pakistan’s diplomacy and international standing. Modi’s threat to isolate Pakistan could gain traction within the region, but not internationally, since Beijing, Washington and Moscow will not be on board,” he said.
Krepon said Rawalpindi holds terrible cards. “Strategic assets” have become significant liabilities.
“Pakistan has justifiably lost the benefit of the doubt after cross-border attacks against India,” he said, adding that the Pakistani argument that collusion cannot be proven is unpersuasive because its security agencies have not shut down the perpetrators.
“With every cross-border raid, Pakistan’s international standing and the sympathy it receives abroad have diminished. The bind Pakistan finds itself in is the result of poor choices that have yet to be reversed. Getting out of this bind will require a new strategy, not the same old tactics,” he added.
India holds high cards, but playing them would be a losing game, he said warning that upping the ante by taking aim at the Indus Waters Treaty would be a dangerous, aggressive act.
“New Delhi will lose international support by undermining the most valuable form of cooperation that remains on the subcontinent. Promoting insurgency within Pakistan is another losing game. Since when has India won by equating itself with Pakistan? Besides, the more ungovernable Pakistan becomes, the more Indian security dilemmas are compounded,” he wrote.
Krepon said fearing encirclement, Pakistan is instead in the process of isolating itself within the region.
Tensions between India and Pakistan are growing after militants stormed an Indian Army base in Uri on September 18, killing 19 soldiers.
The terror launch pads across the border were targeted by the Indian Army last week, inflicting “significant casualties” on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.