In a scenario where decision-making was highly personalized, once Bhutto gave Ayub Khan the assurance that India would confine the fighting to Kashmir, he gave it the go-ahead. The question then arises: who gave Bhutto the guarantee that, come what may, the Indians would be constrained to fight only in J&K? The answer probably lies with China or, more precisely, with Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai.
The future trajectory of Pakistan’s complex manoeuvres in Afghanistan is moving towards building structured co-located terror units with active Pakistan military support. It is now a question of timing as to when some of these units will be directed towards India and Jammu and Kashmir.
The new Prime Minister will be pragmatic. He will not seek to impose a moral code on his armed forces. But he will draw some very firm red lines and these red lines will stretch from Pakhtunkhwa right through Afghanistan, the arena of his political baptism and purgatory. That is where he cannot be seen to be striking deals. His political turf will turn to ash if he does.
The Baloch, who in general had supported the overthrow of Bhutto by Zia-ul-Haq, have not actually let their struggle die. Army and Frontier Corps personnel continue to be deployed in large numbers. The insurgency under the leadership of Bugti intensified soon after Musharraf’s coup in 1999.
The internal threat levels in Pakistan have become so pernicious that the dispensation had to embark on a National Action Plan to fight terror.
If an opportunity arises where an Indian agent is arrested in their country, Pakistan would make every effort to milk the situation and create an international hue and cry.
It is not the military-intelligence establishment of Pakistan, which was solely responsible for the sabotage of NSA level talks between India and Pakistan, the pre-dominant role was that of Hafiz Saeed and to some extent the Hurriyat leaders in India.
It may be underscored that the Dawood gang exercises substantial leverage over three important facets of national life of India: Bollywood, Cricket and politics.
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.