The decision by the Indian Government to proceed with the Foreign Secretary level talk with Pakistan has not been widely welcomed in India. Many in India believe that such ‘talks’ are useless exercise as the terror attacks on India directed by Pak based terror networks are continuing, with the Pune blast as the most recent example. So let me try to answer in the Indian point of view the question ‘Should India talk with Pakistan?
In recent years the number of terror attacks that take place in Pakistan far out number that which take place in India. The men behind these attacks are the same, representing the fundamentalist Islamist ideology. The Pakistan army is trying hard to recapture the territory lost to the Taliban. An ideological war is going on between the moderates and the extremists. Under International and Indian pressure Pakistan is prosecuting some of the accused in the 26/11 terror attack.
The terrorists in Pakistan are trying their level best to ignite hate against India, because then only they will receive good support from Pakistani public. So for the Islamist terrorist an India which will not talk with Pakistan, which will not allow Pak players to participate in IPL, which will humiliate Pakistani Government and people again and again is the India they want to see. Only if India behaves like that they will get more money and support from both the public and the Government of Pakistan. Only then they can defy ban orders and organise more and more big anti-India public meetings. Only then they can propagate their anti-women, anti-modern Islamist fundamentalism among Pak public.
An India which will talk with Pakistan, which will deal with it as a an errand younger brother, which will increase the cultural and person to person contact with Pakistan, which will assure the Pakistani public that it do not have any intention to destroy Pakistan is an India which is a nightmare for the terrorists.
Does India gain anything by not talking to Pakistan? Nothing I can think off. Will India suffer more by talking to Pakistan? Will there be more terror attacks? No is my answer.
So in my view we should talk with Pakistan at all levels.
This does not mean we should surrender our principled positions. This does not mean we should give lot of concessions to Pakistan. This does not mean we should give away Kashmir to Pakistan. This does not mean we should withdraw Armed forces from the border. This does not mean we should lower our vigil against terrorist attacks.
The non-Islamised civil society of Pakistan is India’s first line of defense against terror attacks. . We should support and strengthen it.