The recent peace process between India and Pakistan which got initiated by secret meeting of NSAs of both countries and unexpected stopover of Modi at Lahore again is in a dilemma after Pathankot Attack leading to temporary suspension of Foreign-Secretary level talks which were meant to carve out the design for Indo-Pak peace process.
Leave alone the outcomes of peace process, the peace process is facing problems, for its take-off only. I try to put forth my arguments on whether the take-off of Indo-Pak process is going to be a hype or realism.
It seems the civilian government in Pakistan is willing to take the peace process forward as can be seen from the secret meeting between NSAs and invitation of Nawaz Sharif to Modi to stopover at Lahore for his granddaughters' wedding which is very good gesture. But the problem comes with Pakistan military which is evident through attacks on India after peace initiatives and inaction on those in their territory who perpetrated the attacks even after the evidence was provided by India.
Recent attack on Pathankot is being seen in this context and evidence obtained support this argument. Although Pakistan seems to be acting, it can only be taken seriously only if it is followed by a concrete action leading to the punishment of perpetrators. This hope does not seem reasonable in the wake of drama in declaring the arrest of Masood Azhar and finally his arrest is not confirmed.
Though Modis' shift in his hard-line stance towards Pakistan by stopping at Lahore is appreciated all over the country, but criticism is that is served no purpose expect taking the lives of the army men. So India wants some tangible action related to Pathankot incident to take peace process forward in the wake of Pathankot attack.
The argument that India should not fall in to the trap of some groups who wants to derail talks does not seems to be logical as these attacks cannot be taken place with the support of Pakistan Military in terms of crossing in to India, training etc., and inaction on those perpetrators. So It is foolish for India to engage in talks unless Pakistan military is on board with civilian government as its' participation is crucial for the peace.
This can be displayed by Pakistan through strict action against those perpetrators. So it is early to say that the peace process is not a hype unless it is followed strong commitment from Pakistan military in terms of tangible action against those perpetrators and make them undergo due process of law.
But rising awareness and opposition in Pakistan over terrorism and international pressures from America (Us aid to Pakistan is under suspension) to act on acts of terrorism may force Pakistan military to take action, that cannot be guaranteed but hope remains.
The ball now remains in the court of Pakistan to take peace process forward and how india perceive the extent of action that is needed for the talks to go on after taking a lot of risk by both the prime ministers.
-C Sunil Kumar