Linked with Perils of Proliferation in South Asia.
By K.N. Pandita, New Delhi,
Curously neither any of the authors nor the reviewer focuses on the most important reason for Pakistani Army to hazard Kargl misadventure. It has to be reminded that Kargil happened close at the heels of Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee’s visit to Lahore and an understanding of sorts between Vajpayee and Mian Nawaz Sharied had developed to give a new shape to Indo-Pak bilateral relations. Even Kashmir was discussed by the two leaders and there were positive signs for a broad-based understanding on the ticklish issue.
But this was not acceptable to the ISI and the hawks in Paksitan Army who managed a camouglaged assault on Kargil posts. The fundamentals of Paksitan Amy’s Kashmir policy is not to allow a peacaeful solution of the imbroglio as that would immensely curtail the power and influence of the Army and its clout in radicalised segment of Paksitani society. And Kargil is not the first instance. Execution of Z.A. Bhutto after Simla talks were concluded, sudden dismissal of Benazir Bhutto as prime minister after her one to one talks with the Indian counterpart Rajiv Gandhi, and then Kargil are the links in the chain. Even General Pervez Musharraf came under cloud after he brazenly announced his formula for solution of Kashmir issue. It has also to be remembered that Paksitani GHQ may have taken the Pentagon into confidence over Kargil as the two organizations have deep and historical relations between them. The White House did not conceal its chagrin against Mian Nawaz Sharief for letting down Paksitan Army by publicly saying that he had never been consulted on the adventure by his Army commander. Clinton adminsitration made Nawaz Sharief pay a heavy price in order to shield Pakistan Army in the eyes of Pakistani public. Not to let any civilian government settle Kashmir issue with the Indians is the desk book formula of Paksitani Army and all new imcumbents to the highest post in Pak armed forces are supposed to adhere to it. As regards Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, it is a toothlessa tiger; the day Pakistni hawaks touch it, they will be blasted to pieces. Pakistani nuclear arsenal is not meant to be used agaisnt India but to extract the pound of flesh from the US. As long as the two go buddying together, the US has to pay the price in trickles or in downpours. Washington’s dilemma is not that in a war with India, Pakistan will unleash the weapon of mass destruction. Her dilemma is how to stop Pakistan from clandestinley letting her nuclear weapon go into the hands of Islamists. Some say that Washington is already in control of the weapon in part.