Washington: Pakistan cannot take India’s policy of strategic restraint for granted for too long and if Islamabad rejects Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s offer of cooperation, it will become part of a case for making the country a “pariah nation”, a US daily has claimed.
“Modi is practising restraint for now, but Islamabad can’t rely on that continuing. Modi’s offer of cooperation, if rejected, will become part of a case for making Pakistan even more of a pariah nation than it already is,” The Wall Street Journal said in an opinion piece on Tuesday.
“If the (Pakistani) military continues to send arms and fighters across the border, the Indian Prime Minister will have a strong justification to take action,” it warned.
The Wall Street Journal said India has always enjoyed the moral high ground on the terrorism issue, but past Congress and BJP governments lacked the courage to assert it forthrightly.
That led to a policy of “strategic restraint”, which meant that Pakistan would never be held accountable for its terrorist proxies, no matter how heinous their attacks, it noted.
Praising Modi for deciding against taking any military action, the daily said even as he walked back threats of military action, he replaced them with a pledge to isolate Pakistan internationally if the military doesn’t stop supporting terrorist groups.
He is considering the cancellation of the 1960 Indus Water Treaty, which protects Pakistan’s rights to the Indus River’s water. He could also withdraw most-favoured-nation trading status, granted in 1996, that Pakistan has never reciprocated, the daily said.
In an op-ed published in Foreign Affairs, Sameer Lalwani, Deputy Director of the Stimson Center’s South Asia program, said in the wake of the Uri attack, the understandable anger and frustration of Indian policymakers and strategies is building momentum for major military action.
“But the arguments for such action are highly debatable, if not incorrect. A major militarised response might satisfy a desire for revenge, but it is not clear that it would serve the Indian government’s political, credibility, prestige, or coercive interests,” Lalwani said.