We have been hearing a lot about how Manmohan has sold out the country’s interests by agreeing to talks with Pakistan even before they addressed the terror attacks in Mumbai and also by allowing Balochistan to be mentioned in the joint statement.
I believe he has done the right thing and he will succeed because of the following..
Usually, the internal pressure to posture is so high on politicians that they are scared of being seen to be giving in even one inch. Hence in international forums which are highly visible or sensitive, they refuse to take bold steps to diffuse situations or to reach out for solutions.
Experience tells us that solutions can be found to complex problems only if at least one of the parties involved take a bold first step.
Manmohan did just that. I believe he is also genuinely interested in solving the Pakistan problem as a person(and not just posturing for votes). He is sincere, genuine, and wanting to find long term solutions for the problems that haunt our country. It must have taken enormous courage on his part to have agreed to Balochistan and to further talks And he did it knowing fully that he will have huge opposition back home. Balochistan, because he genuinely believes there is no foundation in the allegation of Indian involvement and talks, because the last 6 months has taught him that we need to move forward to solve the problem.
There are 5 players in this problem. Pakistan, India, USA, LeT and the Taliban. India has the support of USA in bringing LeT under control. After 26/11 and how US citizen were targeted, that much is obvious. But currently they have a larger and more pressing problem in the form of Taliban. And they need the support of the Pakistani army to solve that. But once Taliban issue is sorted out, they will push to bring LeT under control. And I believe just before the talks in Egypt, the US would have given strong assurances of support to Manamohan.
We also need to remember that there is no entity called the Pakistan government. The power is divided between the Army ( most powerful) , the president and the prime minister. However difficult this might make it for India in getting any concrete action, this is a fact of life and cannot be wished away. This complex problem has to be tackled bit by bit, with enormous patience an courage, sometimes by giving more than what we are getting. And it will be a long upward battle. But if this strengthens the democratic government in Pakistan, that in itself is a huge win for India. After all, the single largest reason why Pakistani Army is all powerful is India. The vision of this huge enemy just across the border is what is used to light the frenzy of fear in the Pakistani hearts. And hence, the army keeps doing everything to stall normalisation of relations with India.
And most importantly, Pakistan has nuclear capability. Nukes controlled by the trigger happy army. So there is no question of attacking pakistan- surgical or full fledged.
So if Manmohan can support the democratic government of Pakistan to look good, and slowly try to stabilise the relations, simultaneously getting some progress on controlling LeT in return, then he would be on the right path.
If the hawks in opposition and the cowards in his own party let him be, he will succeed. Because he has world opinion behind him and he has the strength of his courage and conviction.
A vision, backed by strength of conviction and courage, relentlessly executed has the power to change the world.