Mon, Feb 27, 2017 | updated 07:23 PM IST

Terror outfits are Pak's 'prized instruments': Ashley J. Tellis

Updated: Oct 15, 2016 11:43 IST

New Delhi, Oct. 15 (ANI): A senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington-based foreign policy think tank, has said that Pakistan protects the terror outfits active on its soil as it views them as 'prized instruments', which assists the state in its proxy wars against neighbouring countries like Afghanistan and India.

Ashley J. Tellis said in an article recently that Pakistan protects these terror outfits as they view them as 'prized instruments' in its irregular wars against neighbours and, hence, is even willing to risk the internal blowback that episodically ensues from such a strategy.

He said that Pakistani terrorism today aims to secure larger strategic objectives rather than remedy specific grievances like with its support to the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqanis, it wants to ensure geopolitical subordination of Afghanistan to Pakistan.

Similarly, the latest proxy war against India is directed against the entire Indian land mass and is intended entirely to undermine the country's emergence as a great power.

If the Pakistan Army's reluctance to initiate action against outfits such as the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahideen were rooted in operational overextension, these groups would not continue to enjoy the financial subsidies, targeting assistance and operational backing-under the generally directive, but also occasionally detailed, control-of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), he said.

Tellis points out that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'hopeful' journey towards normalcy with Pakistan has now collapsed 'tragically' into blood and recrimination just like that of his predecessors, who have made several attempts for peaceful Indo-Pak relations.

Backing the recent surgical strike conducted by the Indian Army against terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC), Tellis said that with "the recent Indian reprisals were deliberately modest in their aims and execution, intended primarily to signal to domestic, Pakistani and international audiences that New Delhi's traditional restraint could not be taken for granted forever."

He said that the Pakistan Army must stop supporting terrorist groups as part of its confrontation with India.

It is sometimes argued in the West-as George Perkovich and Toby Dalton have recently done-that "India cannot reasonably expect that Pakistani authorities will be willing and able to destroy groups such as (Lashkar-e-Taiba), and simultaneously eradicate the numerous militant groups that now threaten the internal security of Pakistan more directly".

He said that Islamabad' current problems countered in fighting terrorists is a result of its own continued flirtation with arson and letting go of the terrorist groups it has spawned over the years is presently less a function of inability than it is a deliberate choice.

Pakistan's terrorism against India, accordingly, cannot be eliminated by negotiations with either Islamabad or Rawalpindi, he said, adding that sooner or later, a military riposte was inevitable, even from an otherwise soft state such as India not because it promised a permanent solution to the problem of Pakistani terrorism but because doing nothing proved worse than doing something, however incomplete or unsatisfactory.

In these circumstances, only actualizing Pakistan's long-advertised "strategic shift" against terrorism can conclusively eliminate the risk of major regional war. Bilateral diplomacy seems ineffective because the most serious disputes simply lack solutions that would simultaneously satisfy the Pakistan Army and the Indian state. Nor can India immunize itself by improving homeland security alone: its physical proximity, economic constraints and institutional weaknesses combine to prevent hermetic security. (ANI)

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