Uri Attack and Pakistani Isolation

As India faces one terrorist attack after another, patience is running thin in the country. Post attack on Uri army base and death of soldiers, there is mounting pressure on government to act. Question is what can India do? Among many potential options, one that has gained some traction is to isolate Pakistan diplomatically. After address of Pakistani Prime Minister and Indian External Affairs Minister to UNGA, two schools of thoughts have emerged. Some believe Pakistan is totally isolated and stands exposed. Others think that India has actually achieved nothing. Pakistan is happy, healthy and going on her business merrily. It will never be easy to isolate Pakistan. As usual the truth, I think, lies somewhere in the middle. 

Agreed, that it is difficult to isolate Pakistan diplomatically. Even mighty US with all its muscle and money, could only do so much against North Korea, Iran and Cuba. US could not even persuade its non NATO ally, Pakistan, to do its bidding. In this scenario, to get unstinted support, India has to take sides and join military alliances lead by US or China and Russia. India may have leaned towards US, but we are not exactly an US ally.  At the same time, we may have antagonised Russia by moving away from them. We shout from rooftop that we have independent foreign policy. We claim we are nonaligned. Yet, we expect other countries to support us when we are in trouble. This is pure wishful thinking. We get lip service  and shall keep getting it in future. If we wish to be independent, then we have to do things on our own. We must develop our own clout and muscle. If we wish someone else to our dirty job, then we have to do their bidding, dirty our hand and support our perceived friends in good times and and in bad times. 

Now coming to second point, that we did not get much support from the world on the issue of terrorism.  Every country in the world works on its national interest. No one wants to take a side in fight between two countries. The fact that no country spoke in favour of Pakistan may be an indicator of support to Indian school of though. It is also noteworthy than Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Bhutan have supported Indian position. All three countries have decided not to attend SAARC meeting to be held in Pakistan. Now look at who decided to work with Paksitan. They are China, Russia, Iran and Turkey. China, Russia and Turkey are trying to create a formation that opposes US. Iran till recently was reeling under US sanction. China is an ally of Pakistan. China has invested in economic corridor through Pakistan to reach Arabian sea. iran is thinking of its national interest on joining China Pakistan corridor. Till recently, Iran was reeling under US sanction. India voted against Iran in UN. Now to think that Iran will leave her national interest for India and not engage in business with Pakistan is again wishful thinking. By the way, India and Iran are working on Chabahar port in Afghanistan. It is true, Russia did military exercise with Pakistan. At the same time, Russia also exercised with India in Vladivostok. National interest and diplomacy changes with time. One has to keep working at strategic objectives. There is no black and white answer. Besides a thousand mile journey starts with first step.

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