By putting an end to the ‘terror and talk’ cycle, the new dispensation in India has rendered Pakistan’s proxy war strategy in disarray. The Pakistan military-intelligence establishment, therefore, felt that by displaying hostility on the borders it could compel the new government to ‘talks’ in order to perpetuate proxy war.

The scorching of passengers in railway compartments at Godhra railway station on 27 February 2002 and the riots that the carnage triggered has so far been analysed only through the communal and political prisms. All commissions and inquiries have been confined to ‘immediate causes’. Security analysts were amiss in ignoring the external machinations responsible for the carnage. The prevailing geopolitical environment was hardly factored in appraisal of the situation. The security discourse in this country has still not sensitized itself to the entire realm of proxy war, the type of war in which Pakistan has few equals.

The most intriguing aspect of the entire saga is that the ‘emergency locator transmitter’ fitted externally to the aircraft has not triggered, which happens with absolute degree of certainty whenever an aircraft makes a ‘g’ impact on the ground or water.

The forgoing assessment emphasizes on the eastern course possibility. Is this the reason the US has been on an overdrive to underscore the ‘western course theory’? Was the tweet from Talbott, a deliberate diversionary tactic? Readers can now make their own assessment.

Visits to New Delhi by leaders of Saudi Arabia, Iran in quick succession would seem to suggest something new is happening in West Asia to which Indian attention is required. Some historic changes have already placed the region on a path of hope: the election of President Hassan Rouhani, his historic telephonic “hullo” with President Barack Obama, positive movement of the Geneva process on Iran’s nuclear programme, etcetera.

“Starting with the national security adviser to the prime minister of India, senior U.S. national security officials should begin to discuss options for significantly expanded counterterror cooperation with their Indian counterparts, up to and including the possibility of basing U.S. military and/or intelligence operatives in India to address Pakistan-based terrorist threats in a post-Afghanistan context. These conversations would be politically sensitive, so they should begin only after the next Indian government is elected in the spring……”