There is much discussion
going on in the Indian blogosphere on the recent television interview of General Musharraf by CNN-IBN's Karan Thapar (Read the transcripts of part I
of the interview). Sure, Mr. Thapar pulled more than a few punches that put General Musharraf in a fix. That would indeed serve to augment the TRP ratings of his television talk show. But for us the fundamental questions are: Will it change the ground reality? Will there be lesser terror attacks by Pakistan-based groups in 2006 than in 2005?
Do we really have to gloat the fact that Musharraf has finally admitted that he can stop the militancy if the Indian army withdraws from the Kashmir valley? Is'nt this what this blog has been documenting since the Delhi terror atttack. We wrote
on how the Jamaat-ul-Daawa operates with impunity
after the earthquake openly alongside the U.S. military providing relief and the massive popularity
it has among the Pakistani public. Further, the recent terror attacks has shown thatt terrorists have set their sights beyond Kashmir
, to the whole of India
- which has always been the aim of groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba.
Analyzing the interview from Musharraf's perspecive, we argue that this is no bufoonery and is a calculated move by the "tactically brilliant" general.
Let's consider what is happening inside Pakistan:
- The earthquake reconstruction efforts in Pakistani-administered Kashmir is pathetic where young children are dying by the dozens
due to the harsh winter while Pakistani Army regulars are selling winterized tents
from foreign donors in open markets and the shameful treatment
of earthquake victims by the Pakistani police. General Musharraf and the Army has gotten much flak for this from private television channels like GEO TV.
- There is a massive unrest in Balochistan (our take here
) and even international press has started to take notice
of it (hat tip: nukh). All the political parties including the Islamist MMA (General Musharraf's ally) and the mainstream PML and PPP are now opposed to the construction of the Kalabagh Dam.
- The Pakistani media has been pounding Musharraf
on his unilateral decision to construct the Kalabagh Dam - one of the main reason for the Baloch unrest. Though in the interview he dismisses columnist Ayaz Amir as an "unbalanced man", the Generalisso would pretty much like to divert the media heat being directed at him and the Army he leads.
In this situation, the General is on the look out for a bogeyman and here comes India. In the interview, he bends over backwards in making every possible offer on Kashmir thus making it look ridiculous. His only aim is to try to put the ball in India's court, to reduce the troops. Meanwhile, this gives time for the jihadis to recuperate (sic) and the Pakistani Army to rebuild the bunkers along the LoC. Come spring time, we'll be hearing statements about how the "stubbornness" from the Indian side is not advancing the "peace process" while the Wise General has shown "maximum flexibility". The result will be more infiltration from terrorist pigs and hence more attacks in and outside Kashmir. And how will the Government of India respond to all this? Our take is the GoI will remain clueless as usual.