When it comes to Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is in two minds. At times, he fully acknowledges the threat that India faces from terrorist groups in Pakistan. At other times, he doesn’t seem to acknowledge that the surest way to combat these groups is to bring Pakistan to heel.
This was in ample display on Monday when Singh noted, “There is credible information of ongoing plans of terrorist groups in Pakistan to carry out fresh attacks.” This, no doubt, prompts what Singh called “utmost vigilance”— heightened internal security—to prevent another 26/11. But, as he must know, this also calls for a bigger dose of coercive diplomacy.
Unfortunately, if the last month of Indo-Pak relations is any guide, that’s where these concerns turn into downright policy incoherence.
When it comes to delinking bilateral dialogue from prosecuting terrorists or acceding to Indian interference in Balochistan, there’s no sense of “utmost vigilance”. That’s where a dangerous gamble comes into play.